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Saturday, 02/23/2013 - 06:54 pm EST

The Government Wants You To Hire Ex-Convicts, Or Else You're DISCRIMINATING, You Mean Business Owner Meanie You!

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I am not making this up.

I was kind of afraid we were moving towards this kind of excessive over-regulated, government-intrusive bullcrap, considering I'd heard inklings about it at the Human Resources convention I attended back in August. And now it appears to be happening.

Employers are going to be pressured by the EEOC to hire more workers with criminal backgrounds.

The EEOC released "guidelines" that basically say companies should stop doing criminal background checks, because they might "disproportionately exclude minorities from getting hired because more African Americans and Hispanics are getting arrested and going to prison."

See that?  The companies are the bad guys here.  How DARE they want to hire people with clean records?  How DARE they hurt the feeeeelings of people who have committed crimes?  Those mean, jerky employers.

Amazingly, one EEOC commissioner disagrees with the guidance (she was one of George Bush's appointees and renominated by Obama in 2011.)  She said, "The only real impact the new guidance will have will be to scare business owners from ever conducting criminal background checks."  She also said failing to get the public's input before releasing the final guidance showed "an utter and blatant lack of transparency."  Which is something Obama has become rather famous for.

If a company wants to continue to get criminal background checks done on prospective employees, the EEOC says they should limit their inquiries to records which are directly related to the job.  So, for example, if someone was in jail for money laundering, chances are you wouldn't want to hire them as an accountant.  But if they raped someone?  Apparently, the government thinks that By ALL MEANS, employers should let them be an accountant.  That's how stupid the government is.  Hire child molesters to be IT people.  Hire a drug dealer as a customer service rep.  What's the problem?

Employers will now be expected to take into account how long ago someone committed a crime, and whether the crime would preclude the potential hire from performing the functions of the job well.  Because that is how completely stupid the government is.

Next up?  I'm sure they'll throw ex-cons into a protected class category.  Because that is how completely stupid the government is. And in fact, I wrote about that very thing two years ago.  LOOK!

And if an employer hires a criminal, and that criminal does something criminal on the job?  Guess whose fault it is?  The employer's, of course. Because the government will not rest until they make it as difficult as possible to BE an employer as possible. 

Hilariously, just like most everything else the government touches, studies show that this stupid EEOC guidance is likely to totally backfire.  The University of Chicago Legal Forum and the Journal of Law and Economics show "businesses are much less likely to hire minority applicants when background checks are banned, as reported by The Wall Street Journal."

Way to go, EEOC.  Nice work.


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