Integrity Staffing Solutions has settled a discrimination lawsuit
Integrity Staffing Solutions has settled a discrimination lawsuit brought by a black job applicant convicted of killing a man three decades ago, the applicant's legal team has announced.
Albert Dunn, 57, of Reading, accused Integrity of violating the federal Civil Rights Act when its Allentown office denied him a job at Amazon.com's warehouse in Breinigsville because of his criminal record.
"Employment policies that impose a blanket exclusion on people with past convictions, without any consideration of the relationship of the conviction to the job in question, can constitute unlawful discrimination," Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, said in a press release.
"While such policies are facially neutral, they produce severe disparate impact on racial minorities, including African-American, Native Americans and Latinos, because of the significantly higher rates of criminal convictions experienced by these populations."
In Pennsylvania's state prisons and local jails, for example, the incarceration rate for blacks is nine times that of whites, according to the suit.
The suit described Dunn as "a model citizen" since his conviction in the early 1980s. According to the suit:
In 1981, when Dunn was 26 years old, he was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting a man who had threatened him and his family. After the victim died, Dunn was re-convicted on an additional manslaughter charge.
But upon his release in 1983, Dunn went on to earn a bachelor's degree and work for 23 years for GE/Lockheed Martin, where he was required to maintain security clearances from the federal government. He also raised two children after his wife died in 1991.
In its press release, the Public Interest Law Center said ISS "has reaffirmed its policy of providing equal employment opportunity for people with past criminal convictions" and "also has further reemphasized to supervisors and personnel engaged in the hiring process the importance of and appropriate review of a job applicant's criminal convictions."
Clarke said a confidentiality agreement prevented her from disclosing additional information about the settlement, such as financial terms.
ISS, headquartered in Wilmington, Del., declined to answer questions about the matter.