Spartanburg, SC (WLTX) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against BMW that claims the company's criminal background check policy was discriminatory.
The EEOC announced the lawsuit Tuesday. The filing asks for relief for 69 African-Americans who once worked at UTi Integrated Logistics, a company that provides logistics for the BMW facility in Spartanburg.
Back in 2008, BWM switched logistics service providers. During the switch, the lawsuit claims, BMW directed the new company to perform criminal background checks on all existing employees who re-applied to continue their employment.
The checks revealed that 88 of the current employees had convictions records that were in violation of BMW's criminal conviction policy. As a result, BMW denied the employees access to the plant, and they were fired by UTi and weren't hired by the new logistics provider.
The suit claims BMW's hiring policy didn't take into account the category or severity of the crime or how long ago the conviction was. Of the 88 employees affected, 70 were African-American.
Since African-Americans were disproportionately disqualified by the policy, the EEOC is claiming BMW violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The suit seeks lost wages and benefits, and an order barring future discrimination.