J.B. Hunt agrees to settle equal employment opportunity case

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J.B. Hunt has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which the EEOC claimed that the national carrier denied a black applicant a truck driving position at a J.B. Hunt facility in San Bernadino, Calif., in 2009.

J.B. Hunt said it denied the applicant based on a criminal conviction record. The EEOC says the conviction was unrelated to the duties of the job.

The EEOC says it also reviewed the fleet’s broader policy of not hiring applicants with conviction records. Such “blanket prohibitions,” EEOC says, “are not in accordance with the agency’s policy guidance on the subject.”

As part of the settlement with the EEOC, J.B. Hunt must review and revise where necessary its hiring and selection policies to comply with EEOC guidelines and train its staff accordingly.

Before disqualifying a job applicant based on conviction, EEOC’s guidelines recommend evaluation of an applicant’s convictions by considering the nature and gravity of the offense, how much time has passed since the conviction and/or sentencing and the nature of the job.

“We commend J.B. Hunt for correcting its policy on criminal convictions and for taking measures toward ensuring equal employment opportunities for all workers,” said Olophius Perry, district director of the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office.  “Employers should follow J.B. Hunt’s lead in reviewing and revising existing arrest and conviction policies so that they comply with federal guidelines.”