Edited by helpusElShaddai_1, 22 March 2013 - 03:47 AM.
ISN'T CONSIDERED DISCRIMINATION WHEN CONVICTED FELONS ARE ASKED ON APPLICATION "DO YOU HAVE ANY FELONIES AND THEN THEY DO NOT HIRE YOU.
Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:44 AM
Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:36 AM
Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:58 AM
Yes, it is discrimination. Whether someone may be automatically eliminated from consideration because of their arrest or conviction status depends on a given state's laws. In few states will an employer be prohibited from automatically barring someone with a felony without digging a bit deeper. Please note that the below may or may not be updated and laws may change.
I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics. If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable. Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.
Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:39 AM
While federal statute does not explicitly say that discrimination based on conviction records is illegal, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the policy position that a practice of rejecting for employment all persons with a conviction record amounts to illegal race discrimination. Where this practice is shown to have an adverse impact on a racial group, the employer must be able to show the EEOC that it makes determinations on what convictions will result in rejection based on business necessity; i.e. that the conviction relates somehow to the qualifications for the job. The EEOC says employers need to consider (1) the nature and gravity of the offense, (2) how long ago the offense was committed, and (3) the nature of the job. For example, a bank hiring for a teller position may reject persons convicted of theft crimes because tellers handle a lot of money and hiring a known thief for such a job is risk a bank doesn't want to take. But a school hiring a teacher should not care about someone convicted of, say, tax evasion because tax evasion doesn't at all relate to the job of being a teacher. You can read the EEOC's position here: policy statement on use of conviction records.
There are some court cases that support the EEOC position. But note that these are very difficult cases to win. Judges and juries don't tend to be terribly sympathetic to ex-convicts. In addition, the reality is that even under this policy, the discrimination based on conviction records is often legal because the conviction does in some way relate to the job. Convictions for crimes of violence or theft in particular will be a problem for many employers. Some ex-convicts are sorry and won't repeat their crimes when they are released. But some do. And employers have no way to know which applicants are the former rather than the latter.
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