Posted on October 1, 2023

Govt. Hires More Criminals to Comply with Biden Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Order

Judicial Watch, September 22, 2023

To comply with a Biden executive order requiring diversity, equity and inclusion in the federal workforce by, among other things expanding employment opportunities for convicted individuals, government agencies must “widely publicize” they are “hiring persons with criminal conduct issues in their background checks” according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws. Job applicants with criminal records are rarely eliminated from government jobs since the president issued the directive, the EEOC concedes, but more must be done to accommodate them and, when conducting background checks, the agency says employers should take a holistic approach with consideration for mitigating circumstances.


The first paper (Second Chances Part I) explores how likely people with prior arrests or convictions are to work in the federal sector and whether laws that govern the timing of background checks during the recruiting process better protect applicants from discrimination. {snip} As an example, the agency offers that “Black men, in particular, are arrested and incarcerated at rates disproportionate to their numbers in the national population,” providing the EEOC with a basis to launch disparate impact investigations.

The second document (Second Chances Part II) examines how often background investigations for federal employment found criminal conduct and how often the criminal conduct received an unfavorable suitability determination. Between 2018 and 2020 around 22% of federal background investigations for civil service jobs found criminal conduct issues, the EEOC found. Only 2% had unfavorable determinations leading to actions such as not hiring the applicant or removing them from their position after starting. “In cases with criminal conduct as an issue, over three-fourths of determinations were favorable, allowing the candidate to work in the Federal Government,” the report states. Nevertheless, the agency has determined that this is not enough, that Uncle Sam must actively recruit job candidates with criminal histories, recommending that the “Federal Government widely publicize this report’s finding that Federal agencies are hiring persons with criminal conduct issues in their background checks.” {snip}