A: As a best practice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends employers not ask about convictions in the initial screening process, or on job applications. If and when they make such inquiries later in the process, the inquiries should be limited to convictions for which any exclusion would be related to the position in question. The EEOC also recommends employers who are considering screening a potential employee based on a conviction give notice to the individual that he has been screened out, and an opportunity for the individual to demonstrate the exclusion should not be applied due to his particular circumstances. Employers should carefully examine their policies to ensure they comply with Title VII. If they have any doubt about the policy, they should consult legal counsel.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER