Read a PDF of our statement here.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) joined Outten & Golden LLP in a federal lawsuit against NTT Data, Inc. for its discriminatory employment policies.

According to the complaint, NTT, one of the world’s largest information technology service providers, relies on a background check policy that rejects applicants with criminal records, even when an applicant’s criminal history has no bearing on his or her ability to perform the job.

LDF and Outten & Golden contend that this policy violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York State Human Rights Law.

“This lawsuit lays bare the ways that the racial disparities in our nation’s criminal justice system reverberate throughout our society,” said LDF Senior Counsel Rachel Kleinman. “Discriminatory policing and sentencing policies disproportionately affect people of color, and policies like NTT’s only serve to double down on this discrimination—locking qualified applicants out of opportunity without any real justification. Our suit also exposes the way that these arbitrary and unjust barriers to employment exist not only for entry level jobs, but also for highly skilled jobs that offer access to the middle class.”

“We are proud to have LDF join this case as co-counsel,” said Outten & Golden partner Ossai Miazad. “Their participation signals the importance of this suit, which has the potential to help ensure fairer hiring policies in our nation’s burgeoning technology sector.”

NTT asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, but the Plaintiffs filed their response with the court this week—setting forth the ways in which NTT’s policy discriminates against highly qualified Black applicants.

Read the complaint here and the brief here.