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  • #16
    Good post, Elle.

    I can definitely see protecting age, religion, gender .......

    However, a person with a criminal hx made a choice to do something against the law - somewhat different than other protected categories.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #17
      Am I understanding correctly. If I am a shop owner/hiring Manager I cannot exclude an applicant based on fact he has theft record!?
      http://www.parentnook.com/forum/

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      • #18
        The link in the first post does say:
        "Under the new policy, companies can still consider criminal records, but can not make them the sole basis of excluding someone from employment, unless there is a compelling business reason to do so– i.e. a job that needs a high security clearance, or might involve handling large sums or cash.

        Instead, the employer must consider the whole of the circumstances of the arrest or conviction before deciding whether or not to hire somebody– when it occurred, what exactly happened, how the crime might relate to the potential job and the applicant’s behavior in the years since the offense.

        A 10-year-old DUI, for example, would probably not qualify as a reason to not hire a person as a retail clerk, all other factors being equal."
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #19
          It is a whole rainbow of gray panther. Someone just out of prison for theft who applies for a job as the sole cashier of a retail establishment could safely be excluded under the new regs. Someone with a 20 year old theft conviction or who isn't assigned cash handling tasks but has access to cash or merchandise is more of a grey area.

          Personally, I think drug convictions are going to be the sticking point going forward. Drug testing is already highly regulated in many cases and past addiction falls under ADA. Other than some safety sensitive jobs where drug use is absolutely forbidden, it is really a grey area how much drug use affects the ability to do the job. Being under the influence undoubtedly does but I forsee a lot of strife over how relevant it is that an accountant smokes pot on the weekends. Should an employer's desire to have a drug free environment justify declining a candidate with a history of drug convictions? Where do you draw the line? Would a drug test policy be considered enough of a safe guard against the kinds of behaviors that employers seek to avoid by excluding those with a history of drug related convictions? Would it matter if he charge was for use or distribution?
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #20
            Das ist in der Doktor!

            Wow, I can see this one turning into one hot debate.
            If the idea for this proposal is to address the issue of ex-offenders who cannot find employment due to a criminal record, good luck.

            On the one hand, you have an element of society that if given the opportunity, most would prefer to go to work, pay taxes and support themselves or a family rather than return to prison as repeat offenders.
            Then you have another segment who are going to scream NIMBY ( not in my back yard ) no matter what.
            Then you have the employer who's caught in the middle, left having to deal with more useless and toothless legislation that maybe near impossible to enforce.
            This a problem that is not going to go away on its own.
            What ever the solution is, it's going to have to start with the education of all those concerned, perhaps this is that start.

            .._______________
            ~ Now, if someone will just help me down off this #!&#*! soapbox,
            I can't find my cane...
            Last edited by drruthless; 05-07-2012, 04:29 PM.

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            • #21
              As Elle also said - a whole lot of gray area.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by panther10758 View Post
                Am I understanding correctly. If I am a shop owner/hiring Manager I cannot exclude an applicant based on fact he has theft record!?
                In some States, you cannot exclude candidates based on their conviction history (unless the crime is "substantially related" to the job. Under federal law, you can.

                That said, I would never automatically exclude an otherwise qualified candidate just because he or she has a criminal record. You need to look at the bigger picture - what was the crime for? how long ago did it occur? has there been any reoccurence? People do mess up sometimes (especially when they're younger) and do learn from their mistakes. Plus I believe just about everyone deserves a second chance.

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                • #23
                  It is necessary to use convictions solely as a screening tool

                  As an employer I find that we receive many qualified responses for the positions that we post. Most of the time the process of elimination requires the employer to strongly scrutinize the candidates until the last "ideal" candidate remains. I find it difficult to not to strictly use a criminal record as a grounds for elimination. For example, as an employer it would not be unreasonable to say that anyone convicted of a felony in the last 10 years should automatically be disqualified. Luckily this is not a law passed by congress and the EEOC doesn't have grounds to make law. However even if it was law congress would have to make "Convicted Felons" as a protected class. I don't see this as having any grounds for a disparate case.

                  If something as outrageous as this passes, I dont see how we as a nation can maintain our economic prosperity when small business owners like my are treated as evil villains and convicted felons have more rights than me.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by belikenick View Post
                    As an employer I find that we receive many qualified responses for the positions that we post. Most of the time the process of elimination requires the employer to strongly scrutinize the candidates until the last "ideal" candidate remains. I find it difficult to not to strictly use a criminal record as a grounds for elimination. For example, as an employer it would not be unreasonable to say that anyone convicted of a felony in the last 10 years should automatically be disqualified. Luckily this is not a law passed by congress and the EEOC doesn't have grounds to make law. However even if it was law congress would have to make "Convicted Felons" as a protected class. I don't see this as having any grounds for a disparate case.

                    If something as outrageous as this passes, I dont see how we as a nation can maintain our economic prosperity when small business owners like my are treated as evil villains and convicted felons have more rights than me.

                    Please explain that.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by belikenick View Post
                      If something as outrageous as this passes, I dont see how we as a nation can maintain our economic prosperity when small business owners like my are treated as evil villains and convicted felons have more rights than me.
                      You think it's outrageous? How so? Dig this- Today was day three of a temporary job I got. One maybe two more days and it's over. I'm working a security detail for an event management group. The standard procedure there is the first year the person is volunteer. Then they are considered for a paid position. Then for the next year they make $75 a day. Anything out of town is on their own. Then a year later it goes to $100 and anything out of town is now covered per diem.
                      I have only worked for 3 days and I'm making the $100 per day, and they said we'll discuss the per diem part once they see how I work out.

                      "Ok, so what's the relevence?" you ask? I have a record. A felony record. They know. And they still hired me because of my references and experience. Putting me above those without records. Is that right? Is that wrong? Actually, it's up to the employer. I earned the position I hold. Record doesn't apply. Is that taking rights away from those that have worked hard to get to where I am? No. I guess the boss felt they didn't work hard enough. I guess the boss felt I AM good enough. The fact is I have the skills and references. That's not taking anyone's rights away. You want the job? You earn it, then you get it.

                      So when you say "...when small business owners like my are treated as evil villains and convicted felons have more rights than me....", you are so wrong. In this case the employer IS making money off of my skills. They are not treated as evil villains in any capacity. And the only time a felon has more rights than you is when they earn those rights and you don't.

                      If a felon applies at your business and you feel they do not fit, regardless of the record, then just say so. But keep in mind that more often than not that felon will turn out far better than you imagine because they know they have to tow-the-line (so to speak) in order to keep their job. You're far better off hiring a person with a record and even then someone on parole or probation. Yeah, they're gonna make mistakes. Yeah, they're not perfect. And yeah, they just may make mistakes that non-offenders won't make. But the odds are they'll be more of a benefit to your business than what you're giving them credit for.
                      I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
                      Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
                      I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
                      Don't worry, be happy.

                      http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

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                      • #26
                        The issue as I see it is that business owners and hiring managers should be the ones to make the call on hiring someone with any sort of unsavory background. There is no bright line as to what is and is not relevant to the position nor when enough time has elapsed that recidicism isn't an issue. As long as employers have the potential to held liable for neglegent retention and hiring, they must also have the ability to make the choice to hire or revoke the offer. If this passes, it creates a catch 22 for employers. I suspect many will simply forgo background checks entirely to achieve plausible deniability should something go wrong and that is not an outcome which serves anyone's interests.

                        This is an issue near and dear as just a few years ago a very close friend of mine was sexually assaulted in her own home by a repairman retained by her HOA while his partner went to get something out of the truck. The guy had a prior sexual assault on his record. Was it a sure thing that he would attack again? No. Could that prior record been the result of a misunderstanding or vindictive ex? Sure. Was the company taking a huge risk in hiring someone they knew had such a record to go into the homes of clients? Absolutely and in this case, it had devestating consequences.
                        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                        • #27
                          I agree with you, Elle. Sorry about your friend.
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                          • #28
                            I prefer the second room.

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                            • #29
                              Seems there's several aspects to this

                              First, one of the issues mentioned was "disparate impact on a protected class". This is the same as, for instance, an educational attainment requirement where some groups have less opportunity than others and education, per se, is not a job requirement, but a "marker" for a skill set. (Obviously Griggs v Duke Power is the classic one here, but also that case with the legal secretaries).

                              But realistically, this is just going to make things slightly less convenient for employers. They won't be able to have a single "check off" box that says "convicted = no hire". They'll have to go to some sort of scoring system that weights the kind of offense and how long ago it was, etc. This already exists for things like bank executives (the OCC has a matrix of that sort to determine if a person can be allowed to be a bank officer). Same exists for security clearances, and for a whole raft of other jobs (some of the matrixes are a bit archaic.. the one that cropped up a few years back with HSPD12 had "keeping a house of ill-repute" on it, and different scores for "participating in a black market" depending what country you were in)


                              This ruling (and whatever it evolves to) is just another aspect of a long trend of making hiring decisions on the basis of actual skills and competencies and not short hand indicators (be it education, skin color, criminal record), which means that hiring managers have to actually do some thinking and be able to articulate what they're looking for, and then to articulate why the candidate they chose met that, and the others didn't. "gut feel" just won't cut it, because we all KNOW that "gut feel" inevitably leads to "hire people like me", which inevitably leads to discrimination.

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                              • #30
                                Something like this was bound to happen, whether it is a good or bad thing is the question. I find this to be a good change as it gives people with criminal records a chance for jobs. It also restricts employers from not hiring someone solely based on the fact that they have a criminal record. It will change how both the private and public sector of the workforce hire employees.

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