There are a number of news sources over the pond reporting Pepsico‘s failure to recruit people with criminal records. This has resulted in the company being required to pay out $3.13 million to the applicants they discriminated against.
Pepsico applied a blanket ban in recruiting people with Criminal Records, rather than doing a professional risk assessment of the convictions.
This was evidenced to be race discrimination because it affected the employment rights of some ethnic groups more than others.
This would be even more significant if it was using gender data because men are about 10 times more likely than women to have convictions. 1
Figures also suggest that about 1 in 3, 40 year old men have a criminal conviction.
This blog does not claim to offer legal advice and quite clearly, the legislation applied was American. However, failure to risk assess criminal convictions properly is clearly gender discrimination and it risks being race discrimination to a lesser extent.
Any criticism of Pepsico also needs to be put into perspective because of an error in the design of their HR processes can be seen replicated in many companies.
The real criticism of Pepsico should come from its shareholders because the company has failed to make use of the untapped potential of a group of people, who given the chance and the proper initial support, can repay the company with hard work and loyalty.
Also to be fair to Pepsico these charges applied to their bottling operations for they have changed their recruitment policies in the US to be more inclusive.
Pepsico’s worldwide code of conduct http://www.pepsico.com/Download/CodeOfConduct/English_09.pdf