EEOC charges Pepsi with black and Hispanic criminality
Jan 13th, 2012 by Unamused
The doctrine of diversity inches ever closer to the Beyond Parody event horizon: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has charged Pepsi with black and Hispanic criminality.
Pepsi Beverages Co. will pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges of race discrimination for using criminal background checks to screen out job applicants — even if they weren’t convicted of a crime.
How can a criminal background check be “race discrimination”? Oh, that’s right: because blacks and Hispanics are demonstrably more criminal than whites.
The settlement announced Wednesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is part of a national government crackdown on hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics.
The EEOC will always uncover exciting new forms of “race discrimination” because the agency exists solely for the purpose of advancing the interests of certain designated victim groups, including blacks and Hispanics, but obviously not whites. Do not mistake this for fighting injustice (laudable), achieving equality (hopeless) or even (the rather more modest) enforcing anti-discrimination laws.
Not caring a whit about racial discrimination against whites, in the absence of discrimination against minorities, the EEOC will just invent some, then crack down on it. Blacks and Hispanics are more criminal than whites? Okay, refusing to hire convicted criminals is “race discrimination” now. Blacks and Hispanics are less intelligent than whites? Fine, testing your prospective employees’ intelligence is “race discrimination” as well. Blacks and Hispanics are too incompetent to be police or firefighters? No problem, failing to fill up police and fire departments with incompetent minorities can be “race discrimination” too.
EEOC officials said the company’s policy of not hiring workers with arrest records disproportionately excluded more than 300 black applicants.
The company’s policy only “disproportionately excluded” blacks because blacks disproportionately commit crime. For example, between 2004 and 2008, blacks committed 60% of robberies (nationwide) and accounted for 56% of robbery arrests; committed 35% of rapes and accounted for 33% of rape arrests; and committed 30% of aggravated assaults and accounted for 34% of aggravated assault arrests.
Furthermore, the black arrest rates (per capita) for robbery and rape were much lower than the black offending rates: in order for arrest rates to matching offending rates, the police would have to arrest 49% more blacks for robbery and 37% more blacks for rape. (The black arrest and offending rates for aggravated assault are equal.)
How would the EEOC respond to my analysis? We can make some educated guesses:
- “NCVS? Never heard of it.”
- “No, of course we don’t care.”
- “Yes, of course you’re a racist for bringing it up. See you in court.”
Using arrest and conviction records to deny employment can be illegal if it’s irrelevant for the job, according to the EEOC, which enforces the nation’s employment discrimination laws. The agency says such blanket policies can limit job opportunities for minorities with higher arrest and conviction rates than whites.
It is difficult to imagine how a conviction for a property crime, let alone a violent crime, could be irrelevant to hiring. Do jobs not generally involve property of some kind? It doesn’t matter: the EEOC only dangles this red herring of supposedly unnecessary criminal background checks because blacks and Hispanics are more criminal than whites.
If the races were reversed, and whites were more criminal than blacks and Hispanics (absurd, I know, but bear with me), the EEOC would make it illegal not to use arrest and conviction records to deny employment even if they were somehow irrelevant to the job, because to do otherwise would benefit whites at the expense of blacks and Hispanics. And that would be — say it with me — “race discrimination.”
Again, the EEOC exists solely to advance the interests of certain designated victim groups, including blacks and Hispanics, but not whites.
The company has since adopted a new criminal background policy and plans to make jobs available to victims of the old policy if they are still interested in jobs at Pepsi and are qualified for the openings.
“I commend Pepsi’s willingness to reexamine its policy and modify it to ensure that unwarranted roadblocks to employment are removed,” EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien said in a statement.
It is a curious sort of “willingness” that manifests only after the government files charges of “race discrimination” against you. Anyway, the important thing is that now Pepsi has to hire black and Hispanic criminals. Huzzah?
Pepsi Beverage spokesman Dave DeCecco said the company’s criminal background check policy has always been neutral and that the EEOC did not find any intentional discrimination. He said after the issue was first raised in 2006, the company worked with the EEOC to revise its background check process “to create a workplace that is as diverse and inclusive as possible.”
“We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and we have been widely recognized for our efforts for decades,” DeCecco said.
He said the new policy would take a more “individualized approach” in considering the applicant’s criminal history against the particular job being sought.
So close, Dave. Here’s what you should have said: “Our company’s criminal background check policy has always been neutral. If blacks and Hispanics insist on disproportionately committing crime, that is not our problem.”
About 73 percent of major employers report that they always check on applicants’ criminal records, while 19 percent do so for select job candidates, according to a 2010 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.
But increased federal scrutiny of such policies has led some companies to reevaluate their hiring process. Pamela Devata, a Chicago employment lawyer who has represented companies trying to comply with EEOC’s requirements, said there has been an uptick over the past year in EEOC charges over the use of background checks.
“The EEOC has taken a very aggressive enforcement posture on the use of criminal background and criminal history,” Devata said.
Of course it has. The EEOC will not be satisfied until every company in America is so terrified of being charged with “race discrimination” that they hire every black and Hispanic applicant, no matter how unqualified, incompetent, criminal, or just plain unnecessary to the business.