With unemployment numbers stuck in the stratosphere because of Barack Obama’s disastrous economic policies, job hunters are increasingly competitive with one another as they search for a suitable opening. Later this year, San Franciscans will face an even tougher market when a new municipal ordinance takes place putting criminals on equal footing with law-abiding citizens during job interviews.
The so-called “Ban the Box” law goes into effect in August and will prevent managers from asking candidates about a variety of previous criminal charges and convictions.
Some of the topics deemed off-limits under the ordinance, such as minor infractions of the law, are understandable. A number of others, however, could result in an employer being forced to hire a violent criminal because he or she was legally forbidden from bringing up the subject.
According to the ordinance, prospective hires may not be asked about arrests that did not result in a conviction or any “[p]articipation in or completion of a diversion or a deferral of judgment program.”
Furthermore, interviewers cannot discuss any conviction “that has been judicially dismissed, expunged, voided, invalidated, or otherwise rendered inoperative” or a conviction in juvenile court.
Finally, inquiries regarding convictions that are more than seven years old based on the sentencing date are forbidden under the new law.
While employers are allowed to look into such convictions after the initial interview, their hands are effectively tied in considering the new facts unless the applicant’s crimes were directly related to the job being offered. Even in that case, the employer is responsible for providing the candidate with a copy of his or her background check, “if any, and shall notify the applicant or employee of the prospective Adverse Action and the items forming the basis for the prospective Adverse Action.”
As California’s governor continues to release prisoners serving life sentences at a record pace, those seeking a job in the City by the Bay will face an even more daunting task than those struggling in other parts of the state and beyond. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder is determined to give these convicted criminals the right to vote as the penalty for committing criminal acts continues to be minimized.
A corrupt government, it seems, increasingly identifies and sympathizes with the corrupt individuals under its control.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: Joshualeverburg1 (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom