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The state of Texas is able to mount a challenge to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC's) Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.Many Texas state agencies maintain rules barring the hire of convicted felons, felons convicted of particular categories of felonies or persons convicted of particular misdemeanor offenses. The rules apply categorically to all applicants—if an applicant has been determined to be guilty of a covered offense, the applicant is barred from employment without regard to the particular circumstances that surround the applicant's conviction for that offense. When the EEOC published the enforcement guidance in 2012, it articulated a new standard for criminal background checks that the agency intended to apply to all public- and private-sector employers nationwide. The guidance generally indicated that an employer's categorical exclusion of individuals with particular criminal convictions might violate Title VII if it had a disparate impact on particular protected classes. The enforcement guidance also identified two ways for an employer to show that a challenged exclusion was permitted as being job-related and consistent with business necessity:
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