Earlier this year, the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) opened an investigation into the staffing company Aerotek under suspicion of discriminatory hiring practices. The EEOC’s interest was not only in Aerotek’s internal hiring practices, but went further to review how the staffing firm’s employees handle candidate searches on behalf of agency clients. The EEOC required Aerotek to hand over information on all 22,000 of their clients, including email exchanges and job posting information.
While the majority of the data reviewed by the EEOC was found to be compliant, there were a few cases where clients requested Aerotek employees to search for candidates based on age, which is in violation of EEOC guidelines. The investigation also uncovered hundreds of client search requisitions that contained discriminatory language.
Employers should take note that using an outside search firm does not exempt the company from EEOC rules and guidelines.
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