In 2012, the EEOC issued guidance to employers regarding criminal background checks. Criminal background checks can have a disproportionate impact on minorities. The EEOC’s goal was to help employers avoid a blanket rule prohibiting hiring folks with criminal records. In 2013, the state of Texas, filed suit against the EEOC to enjoin the implementation of the new rules. See State of Texas v. EEOC, No.13-CV-00255 (N.D. Tex.). The Texas Attorney General’s Office (Greg Abbott) referred to the new rules as the "felon hiring rule." Yes, Greg Abbott filed yet another frivolous lawsuit. I previously wrote about his frivolous lawsuits here and here.
Earlier this week, U.S. Federal Judge Sam Cummings, in Lubbock, dismissed the suit saying there is no case or controversy. That is a term meaning there is no valid dispute. See order here. As the EEOC explained in April, the guidance is just that, guidance. EEOC guidance does not and never has constituted a "rule." See Lubbock media report. The EEOC has issued such "guidance" regarding many types of discrimination. They serve as guide lines, but are not binding on any employer. They serve as interpretations of discrimination statutes. Some are followed by courts. Some are not.
Greg Abbott has lost another case. But, he has probably helped his campaign just a bit. Now, he can say once again, "I wake up, I sue the federal government, and then I go home."