Mon, April 18th, 2011 - 4:32 am - By Gordon Basichis
Apparently certain employers discriminate in their hiring practices. According to a recent report in the National Employment Law Project, or NELP, their survey of Cragi’s Lit reveals that no hire policies are routine. According to their Press Release, NELP posted the following–
That being said, most of our clients often do not take into consideration old criminal records. At least they don’t rule an employment applicant ineligible only because of a criminal past. Of course, violent felonies can give employers pause, but misdemeanors and infractions don’t seem to carry the gravitas that this report would intimate. Most employers that we service are far more concerned about skill sets and employee reliability than distant infractions and felonies. In certain industries, trucking, industrial, criminal records are fairly common and, frankly, certain employers wouldn’t have a workforce if they excluded job applicants with past convictions.
As I noted, violent crimes are another matter. Employers when conducting employment screening will be much more discerning about violent crimes in an employment candidate’s background check. The fear of course is not so much what the employee did in the past, but whether or not he would act out on the job. Workplace violence is always a major consideration. That being said, employees with violent criminal histories may not be the ones to act out on the job. In fact, in some cases they become models of restraint, realizing any violent action, plus their past history would most definitely cause them to lose their jobs.
In fairness to the NELP report, it does list prominent companies who advertise positions on Craig’s List and specify that those with criminal records need not apply. Having no idea what the policies of these companies are, it’s not my place to give an opinion of their practices. I do know that in most cases criminal records are neither violent or extensive. They are often modest infractions.
I have known a few people who when younger got themselves in trouble when they were younger and then straightened out their lives and went on to become reputable employees. Some of these people became professionals, or key managers, professors and deans at universities. It is hardly above the pale that someone messes up at one point and then turns around his life. So denying people second chances, or denying them employment, doesn’t make sense.
It is not a perfect world, after all. In case you haven’t noticed.
As one client said. ..”Hey, he was the best man for the job. Had the skill sets I needed. Because he did something fifteen years ago, what do I care?”