J.B. Hunt Settles Discrimination Case Brought By EEOC, Will Review Hiring Policies

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell is reviewing its company hiring policy and has settled a racial discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC announced the settlement with J.B. Hunt (Nasdaq: JBHT), stemming from a 2009 incident in which an African-American candidate was denied a truck driver position in California because he had a criminal conviction on his record. Per the EEOC the criminal record was “unrelated to the duties of the job” and should not have been a factor in the hiring process.

A review of company hiring policies led the EEOC to declare that “blanket prohibitions” do not comply with federal guidelines. J.B. Hunt, as part of a five-year agreement with the agency, wil review its hiring practices, according to the EEOC release.

That review will include, according to the EEOC, “the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; the time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence; and the nature of the job sought prior to disqualifying a candidate with such a record.” 

"We commend J.B. Hunt for correcting its policy on criminal convictions and for taking measures toward ensuring equal employment opportunities for all workers," said Olophius Perry, district director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office.  "Employers should follow J.B. Hunt's lead in reviewing and revising existing arrest and conviction policies so that they comply with federal guidelines."

J.B. Hunt also settled with the man who was denied a job because of his prior criminal history. Details of that settlement were not made public by the EEOC.

An email to a J.B. Hunt spokesperson was not immediately returned.