Friday, June 11, 2010
Ban the Box
This is from John Oosting's report at MLive.com:
"Detroit, home to thousands of convicted felons, could drop that question from job applications from city jobs. City Council members Ken Cockrel Jr. and Kwame Kenyatta are poised to introduce a 'Ban the Box' ordinance in coming weeks, arguing the question unfairly punishes felons a second time. 'They're doing time all over again when they apply for a job and it asks the question ...and whoever is getting ready to hire them stops,' Kenyatta told The Detroit News.
The ban would not prevent the city from conducting background checks later in the hiring process, but proponents argue removing the question from job applications could provide convicts with the start of a second chance.
Felons who have served their time 'don't even get an opportunity to get their foot in the door,' Cockrel told WWJ. The initiative is part of a nationwide 'Ban the Box' movement launched in Oakland, Calif. by Susan Borton, who served time in prison on drug charges and found it challenging to obtain a job when she was released in 2003."
Employers have legitimate liability considerations relating to negligent hiring, supervision and retention of employees with criminal records. These liabilities exist out of concern for customers and co-workers. If I am a thief, doesn't the employer have an obligation to company owners, investors and employees? If I am violent and potentially a danger to customers or co-workers doesn't an employer have a duty to protect anyone I come into contact with on their behalf? Eliminate the box, and you eliminate an important tool for prospective employers.
This from someone who is, regretfully, a tax felon. Every prospective future employer of the Bad Lawyer will know this, as painful as this fact is--I guarantee it.