Census Workers and the Background Checks

Friday, April 23, 2010

Two job applicants with minor criminal records have filed challenges in court with the Census Bureau and their pre-employment screening process.

They claim they were unfairly rejected because the could not provide court records surrounding their settled cases.

Records are no longer available for misdemeanor offenses committed long ago. The two African American men claim the screening process is racially charged as the majority of applicants with these types of offenses will be black, Latino, or Native American.

The Commerce Department, which oversees the Census Bureau, declined to comment, but their spokesperson, Nick Kimball did state that safety was the reason for the screening process:

"Americans must be confident that if they don't mail back their forms and a census taker must come to their door, we've taken steps to ensure their safety."

The Census Bureau is expected to hire more than 700,000 temporary employees and will use FBI fingerprint checks for the first time.


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