Hey, EEOC….

by Walter Olson on May 30, 2012

… can we have a heart-to-heart talk about some of what’s wrong with your new guidelines restricting employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal records? [Robin Shea] More: Diane Katz/Heritage, Ted Frank, Federalist Society podcast with Maurice Emsellem, Dominique Ludvikson and Dean Reuter, Brian Wolfman/Public Citizen (favorable to rules). Amy Alkon rounds up several more links, regarding which it should be noted that the EEOC has traditionally conceded an employer’s right to consider an embezzler’s rap sheet when filling a bookkeeping job — but not necessarily an axe-murderer’s rap sheet, since that’s not demonstrably “job-relevant.” Don’t you feel reassured now?

In related news, Roger Clegg reports that the House has passed a provision blocking EEOC enforcement of the guidance, which is encouraging as a preliminary matter; the Senate, however, is very likely to take a different position, and the rider will have no effect if the Senate view prevails. [NRO]

{ 5 comments }

1 Ed 05.30.12 at 5:36 pm

So does this mean that when a woman gets raped at work, the EEOC will be sued and not the company because they had to hire a convicted sex offender. Nah, the government’s never to blame. Damned if you do; damned if you don’t

2 Ron Miller 06.01.12 at 10:04 am

Certainly, it would seem to be fair game to know whether a potential applicant for a job has criminal convictions.

3 Max Kennerly 06.02.12 at 11:03 am

The big issue to me is not if the checks are done, but if they are disclosed as being done and the real reason for the non-hiring explained. If the checks are done in secret and the person not told, that’s a problem.

4 OBQuiet 06.03.12 at 5:50 pm

This rule makes perfect sense to me. How else can you produce a situation where the employer can be sued whether they do or they don’t? That is the goal right? Check that someone has a violent criminal records and you get sued for discrimination. Hire someone without checking and get sued when they commit some act against an employee or customer.

Either way the lawyers win and that is the whole reason the rest of us exist. To feed lawyers.

5 Ron Miller 06.04.12 at 10:01 am

I don’t know the rationale, Max. Why is that necessarily a problem?

OBQuiet, I’m glad you were able to use the venue to vent a little. Hopefully, it helped.

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