“Have you been denied a job based on your Criminal History?”

by Walter Olson on December 14, 2010

Class action lawyers are waiting by the phone. [Michael Fox]

{ 7 comments }

1 Bob Lipton 12.14.10 at 8:12 am

Interesting. My niece, who has just passed the Bar in New York told me they still have to do some sort of character check.

Boib

2 Penfold 12.14.10 at 11:07 am

Congrats to your niece.

NY does not do the background check until after you have passed the bar exam. If she has her application done and gets it filed soon enough, she may be able to be admitted in February 2011.

3 Bob Lipton 12.14.10 at 1:15 pm

My point is that she might be denied admittance on grounds of character. Which would include criminal convictions. Which is just wha this ad is saying is agin the law.

Bob

4 No Name Guy 12.14.10 at 1:56 pm

In my line of work….DUH! Lots of people are denied a job based on criminal history. If they didn’t, I can only imagine what crap would hit the fan.

Then again, I work in aerospace, with lots of defense contracts. One kind of expects that.

I can hear the dip head lawyer now, talking with a potential client:
“So, you were denied a job working for Big Aerospace company in their military division?”
“yes.”
“Did they say why?”
“Yes, they said my conviction for theft, combined with my crappy finances made me untrustworthy or unable to obtain a necessary security clearance. Something about being vulnerable to wanting to steal classified data to sell.”
“Well, THAT sounds like a disparate impact discrimination. How DARE they deny you a job because you have a proven track record as a thief who may be motivated by your crappy finances to try and supplement your wages by illicit means.”

5 Chris Hoey 12.14.10 at 5:41 pm

NY State Division of Human Rights has long held that denying one a job because of prior convictions is illegal, unless the crimes could be shown to be relative to the job. A theft conviction should not be a deterrent to hiring a laborer, e.g., but might be in the case of a bank teller.
As to NY’s character and fitness test, the standards vary from judicial district to judicial district. In my day it was immeasurably more difficult to satisfy the committee in the 2nd District (Kings & Richmond) than the 1st (NY County). In my case, in 1958, I was delayed in admission because I had read Karl Marx in pursuing an undergrad degree in Labor Economics, and had accumulated three traffic tickets between the ages of 15 and 19.
The times, they are achanging, I guess.

6 Frank 12.15.10 at 9:15 am

” may be motivated by your crappy finances to try and supplement your wages by illicit means.”

Yes, because we all know those with less money are far more likely to be dishonest.

7 No Name Guy 12.15.10 at 3:16 pm

Frank
Wow – so someone whose house is in foreclosure, is months late on all the other bills, whose car was just repossessed, who has outstanding pay day loans – they’re as trustworthy around high value items as someone who current on their finances, bills are paid, and more or less financially fit?

When the financially distressed have access to high value items with a ready market (like classified information, or jewelery, or lots of cash, or DVD players, etc) yes….they ARE more likely to be dishonest. The motivation to steal is clear – for a person in deep financial do-do – steal (insert valuable item) and sell it and dig themselves out of the hole.

Those who’s finances are squared away don’t have the temptation to steal to dig themselves out of a hole (because…duh, they’re NOT in a hole – get it?)

Not saying that those who are squared away won’t or don’t steal – just that they have one less reason compared to those whose finances are sound.

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