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Pepsi Settles EEOC Charges of Racial Bias in Screenings for $3M

Pepsi Beverages, formerly known as Pepsi Bottling Group, has agreed to pay $3.1 million, develop a new background check policy and provide job offers and training to resolve a race discrimination charge filed against them for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) revealed that more than 300 blacks were adversely affected when Pepsi applied a criminal background check that disproportionately excluded black applicants from permanent employment. Under Pepsi’s former policy, job applicants who had been arrested pending prosecution were not hired for a permanent job even if they had never been convicted of any offense. The EEOC also said Pepsi’s former policy had denied employment to job applicants who had been arrested or convicted of certain minor offenses. The EEOC advises employers to take more factors into consideration before completely excluding applicants, such as the nature and gravity of the offense and the time that has passed since conviction, etc.

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