Obviously, stricter criminal background checks would have prevented this.
Eileen F. Toplansky, American Snark Employers:
EEOC Protected Classes
The end of the year. It is a time where one can be easily drawn into reminiscence and reflection. For some of you, this might be bitterly remembering exactly when you started hating the family member who refuses to scrape off their Romney Ryan bumper sticker or fondly remembering the orgy last night. For me, my thoughts turn to a year ago when my employment woes at the hand of the Great Depression II: Secret Depression were finally ended.
But it seems I’m not the only one thinking backwards about employment.
Shorter (or the last port before Jungle):
- God damnitt, after all that work to remove the social safety net and require that people scramble to find jobs in order to avoid starving to death in the streets, some goddamn bearded hippies went around and argued that the Undesirables in our midst therefore should be afforded a genuine chance to be employed.
Poor ol’ Eileen Sockpuppet* is in a bit of a tizzy about all those Others out there going around being all entitled to food and jobs. And given the usual trajectory of these things I’m going to keep an internal timer going on for those who want to bet on how long she starts ranting about filthy trans* people**.
On September 19, 2012, the Newark, New Jersey Municipal Council passed Ordinance 12-1630, “which limits employers’ ability to conduct criminal background checks.” The ordinance went into effect November 18, 2012 and “prevents employers with five or more employees who do business, employ persons or take applications for employment in the City of Newark, from asking applicants about their criminal history.”
The employer “can only perform the background check after a conditional offer has been made and the employer makes a ‘good faith determination’ that the job position is of a sensitive nature.” Sensitive nature is, however, not defined. In fact, if an employer is permitted to make a criminal history inquiry in connection with any employment decision, the employer first must provide the individual with written notice. The notice must advise: (1) that the employer will conduct the criminal history inquiry upon the written consent of the individual; and (2) if any adverse employment decision is made as a result of the information, the individual will have an opportunity to present rebuttal evidence.
We start our rant on the subject of former criminals.
Now, loathe as I am to note that the whole point of a prison system (instead of a “shoot people into the heart of the sun” system) is that people are supposed to serve time for crimes until they have paid their debt to society, are determined not to be a likely hazard to others, and learn their lesson about harmful behavior, I kinda have to comment on how upset she is on her team’s con being rumbled.
She knows that we have a justice system in name only in this country. That it has been used and abused to selectively enforce laws that disproportionately affect black and brown youth, that it fails in its duties as a force for rehabilitation, instead preferring a model of abuse for its own sake that hardens criminals instead of teaching them. That laws about what former felons can and can’t do are abused to lock down any means of restarting one’s life outside of prison, forcing people who make youthful mistakes to become career criminals just in order to survive (not to mention the unbelievably unjust practice of denying them voting rights to prevent them from fixing any of this).
She knows that the prison industry is a means of ensuring economic discrimination continues to hold down the darker-hued populations and prevent them honest means of climbing out of the darkness. And that the success of these traps and the desperation it causes is used to reinforce the need for even more draconic punishments.
And yet, she can’t help herself risking it all by bitching about those who try and make it just a little less trap-like.
Of course, a former felon should never ever be allowed to work anywhere as if they were a real person and the time-sink of prison was its own punishment! They should starve in the street and die like the Unpeople they become by being born black and poor! So what if employers can still pull a number of tricks to ensure discrimination continues or that this is one mere law in one city that doesn’t really increase employee rights much beyond what is already standard and hasn’t led to mass chaos or former felon employment? All that matters is life might suck slightly less for someone who was black and naughty and THIS WILL NOT DO!
According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) briefing submitted to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights by Jonathan A. Segal asserts that
HR professionals are charged with ensuring that each individual hired possesses the talent, skills, and work ethic needed for the organization’s success. The consequences of making a poor hiring choice can be great, possibly leading to financial losses, an unsafe work environment, and, if the employee engages in severe misconduct, legal liability to customers, shareholders or other employees in the form of a negligent hiring lawsuit or other legal claims.
Well yeah, former felons are a game of hot potato that no employer wants to have land in their hands. I mean, given our laughably terrible incarceration system, that 10 year old conviction for assault may be a youthful indiscretion or a sign of simmering anger and violence issues made worse by years of rape and neglect.
That the end result of this is that former felons have an even harder time finding honest work before you factor in the truncated work history and often reduced educational backgrounds and skill sets in economic climates that are already hostile to them. And that the end result of that is former felons being hard-pressed to simply return to a life of crime that places them once again in a system where at least they can guarantee regular meals and shelter, is simply a curious coincidence that couldn’t possibly need social and legal responses to for the good of the communities these rehabilitated criminals are returning to.
Thus, “employers typically run a credit check, for example, on only those finalists for positions that involve money-handling or other fiduciary responsibility.” In fact, “many state laws require the use of criminal background checks for certain industries to maintain their licenses.” These would include health care and child care positions. Asking a potential employee’s previous employer often results in a less than accurate assessment because “employers can face claims made by the former employees themselves (in the form of a defamation or retaliation lawsuit).” That is why “many employers use the services of a background check company in an attempt to obtain the most accurate and complete picture of the potential employee.”
Oddly left absent from all this would be all the dirty tricks employers currently use to avoid hiring what they would euphemistically call “high-risk applicants”, such as automatically rejecting applicants with gaps in employment history regardless of reason.
Also, oddly absent? How this long-term punishment of those who commit crimes and are punished for them makes actions like “civil disobedience” much more fraught as a single arrest for a social cause can be used to legally discriminate against you for the rest of your professional life. And how that in turn makes people less willing to meaningfully stand up against discrimination in general.
And of course, also absent would be how this seemingly reasonable concern loses a little bit of its impact after we’ve all been audience to an unbearable amount of white, upper-class corruption in business by people who will never ever see the inside of a jail cell.
I mean, seriously, it’s a little hard for us to be all properly rubbing our hands together in worry over “oh noes, some gangbanger thug might be stirring my latte” when rich wankers are tanking whole countries and ranting about the masses feeling entitled to food like full-fledged comic-book supervillains.
I mean, the statement quoted by little Ms. Wingnut (and I apologize for the fact that it is only available in pdf) includes an anecdote about how BP was forced by mean government thugs to only do a regular drug tests as the bare minimum of hiring and so accidentally hired a rapist as a supervisor for the cleanup who went on to rape one of his subordinates and this caused a huge PR problem for them that totally ruined all the endless blowjobs they would have received normally.
Because, yeah, that one low-level rapist guy was the real reason that people hated them, not the rich fuckers who utterly ruined one of our key fishing locations by being penny-pinching sociopaths who then went on to bungle clean-up to such a degree that there are Environmental Scientists earning PhDs just cataloging all the ways they fucked that up.
I mean, what’s worse, some low-level bastard or a company regularly performing Captain Planet villain levels of destruction?
In light of the Newark restriction concerning criminal background checks, the following must be considered to assess the prudence of this latest Ordinance.
• If a landlord hires someone to fix problems in apartments, that individual now has access to all apartments. Consider if an applicant has a recent rape conviction but no background check has been permitted.
These are more examples, gleefully purloined from the quoted statement.
And well, to answer it, maybe then employers and society in general should stop sucking when it comes to issues of rape and sexual assault.
I mean, seriously, if the problem is that there are hordes of unrehabilitated molestors roaming the streets looking for another victim, maybe the issue isn’t mandatory criminal background checks but rather the fact that we don’t take the issue seriously as a society.
Convictions for rape are laughably rare. When they do happen, they tend to receive laughably low sentences compared to other crimes. And rarely come with any real rehabilitation. I mean, for fuck’s sake, we care so little about rape in our society, that most of our country’s favorite go-to joke is the epidemic of prison rape.
A background check isn’t really going to stop the landlord hiring a convicted rapist looking for his next victim to check the pipes of the residents, because the real issue is that said landlord is deliberately ignoring the warning signs of disregard towards women and love of power because they show the hire is “one of the good ones” and “someone they can really relate to”.
And honestly as someone who gives a damn about rape in our society, it is sickening how often people only ever pretend to give a shit about it when it allows them to straight up dehumanize a large group of people.
Oh, see, we suddenly care about rape when we talk about how that recently-released rapist will be sneaking in your house thanks to the evil government, now be sure to hate your designated minority group! And everyone be sure to forget that the mass majority of rapes occur from someone the rape victim knew personally (such as family members, lovers, friends, or former lovers).
• The National Retail Security Survey estimates that “the U.S. retail industry lost more than $34 billion in 2011 as a result of employee theft. Why shouldn’t an employer, especially in Newark, NJ, have the ability to do a pre-employment background check and not “after a conditional offer has been made?”
I note a complete absence of even an attempt at a correlation there. But hey, if there is one population most used to being treated every day of their lives as if they were still criminals even when they haven’t done anything yet, it’s probably former criminals.
• In fact, according to SHRM’s own survey, “having a criminal record is not an automatic bar to employment.” But if “adverse information is found as a result of the criminal background check, 58% of the SHRM respondents indicated that they give the candidate the opportunity to explain the circumstances before the job decision to hire or not to hire is made. In fact, in April 2012, EEOC had already updated guidance for employers to avoid discrimination when using criminal history information.
Yeah. And this law doesn’t really dramatically change that. Employers are still allowed to make criminal background checks and employees are still given a chance to explain themselves that are promptly placed in the circular filing tray upon the floor.
So, why the fuck do you care so damn much?
Furthermore, under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) “an employer that uses a third party provider in the background process must notify the potential employee in advance of the process and obtain the applicant’s written approval to have his or her background checked by the provider.” So what has changed?
That’s actually a surprisingly good question.
I look forward to you avoiding answering it.
Unsurprisingly, there is now a “new Summary of Rights in the FCRA that employers will need to begin using starting January 1, 2013 giving further credence to the difficulties that employers face when hiring new employees. The result is increasing paperwork and cost to the employers.
Avoided like a pro there, Eileen.
And they say no one has standards anymore.
Increasingly, employers find themselves “between a rock and a hard place — between losing their state license or opening themselves up to liability if they do not comply with a state law mandating criminal background checks and risking a class action lawsuit if they go forward with criminal background checks and base hiring decisions on the results.”
Not really. A) They are not actually banned from using criminal background checks to fuck over prospective employees and B) federal regulations requiring criminal background checks will always trump state laws for those industries that have them.
It’s almost like your pantie-bunching is all about wanting minority groups banned from employment rather than any genuine concern for real people. But if that was true, you’d start drifting off in odd phrasings and deliberate attack against non-felon populations.
Moreover, if the EEOC claims that “criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin” why should an employer suffer the consequences of faulty decisions made by individuals?
Whew. That’s that avoided.
Why is the shift of responsible decision-making always falling on employers with the concomitant financial burdens, burgeoning paperwork and litigation worries?
Those poor sorry Corporation-Americans, having to deal with the unholy tyranny of “MOAR PAPERWORK” and “vague concern over a potential lawsuit”. Truly, no population has ever suffered more in the history of our nation. Like say those populations who are denied any honest means of feeding themselves. Or those whose communities are destroyed by the way our society makes career criminality more tempting and easy than becoming a responsible member of society. Or those who have to hide who they are just so they can try and get hired somewhere, anywhere and hopefully avoid becoming homeless and starving. Or those who can’t even do that because what makes them “unhirable” is plain for all to see.
And more importantly, is there a disproportionate amount of crime among a certain group, and, if so, why? And how can it be reduced?
Additional shorter: Hey, we already knew that all blacks are degenerate criminals who should be killed rather than allowed to breathe, so why are we pretending to only discriminate against the ones caught up in our dysfunctional “justice” system for such horrendous crimes as “smoking pot” or “stealing a walkman”.
The EEOC has also weighed in on the possibility that “employees who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking” would come under Title VII and the ADA. Thus, “potential employment discrimination and retaliation against these individuals… may trigger protection under Title VII or the ADA. Consequently, an employer “may have to reassign a domestic violence victim to another position at another office location if the victim develops depression that is exacerbated by working in close proximity to her attacker.”
Psst, Eileen, you didn’t quite hide the fact that your ire is more over those dastardly victims raising a fuss rather than the perpetrators of these crimes.
But hey, I’m willing to give you a passing grade, simply because you’ve managed to avoid ranting about trans* people in a post title that seemed tailor made for it-
Hey, what’s that beeping sound.
And in Macy v. Holder the EEOC “adopted the position that employment discrimination against transgender individuals is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII [.]“
Who had Paragraph 15? Cause, you just won a Kupie Doll!
All right, let’s see what tired round of ancient bigotries and tasteless assumptions are stirred up this go!
How would this be factored concerning weight limits for lifting or carrying packages?
I’ll admit. That’s… a new one on me.
How does that even… Because men will fake that they are women to avoid carrying large packages… I don’t even know how this would even…
My brain hurts now.
Stop being creative, wingnuts.
What happens if a person is undergoing surgery over a period of time?
The same thing that happens when anyone else on the staff has to undergo sugery over a period of time.
I mean, that’s sort of why we don’t try to understaff to the point where no single person can miss a single day without bringing down the entire company. Because unplanned illness and injury can strike anyone at any time and you want your employees to be able to handle that without having to break the laws of physics to do so.
Fuck, I mean, by that logic, out transsexuals are your ideal employee as any surgeries they choose to undergo will be planned ahead of time so they can be scheduled for times the business is already looking to slow down and with enough warning to hire any additional temp staff needed for the interim period.
But yeah, the complete bafflement revealed here makes me assume that you think employees are a form of evil robot race trying to invent ways to get unneeded vacation days.
Will a company need to construct a separate bathroom facility to accommodate the individual before the surgery is completed?
Because transsexuals people aren’t actually “its” who cannot be safely mixed with others. Before “surgery is completed” IF “surgery is completed”, transsexuals just use the correct bathroom for their gender like ever other man or woman in the workplace. Because transmen and transwomen are just like everyone else and use the bathroom to piss and shit, rather than to create rape rings and Satanic orgies.
I mean, it’d be great if we moved as a society towards gender neutral bathrooms, especially in office situations. It’d save on the amount of space devoted to restrooms, reduce necessary cleaning, be more inclusive to genderqueer, genderfuck, agendered, intersex, etc… individuals and remove all the bullshit meaningless gender policing bullshit we needlessly take on to what is essentially rooms with holes for our shit.
Almost one year ago, the Washington Times wrote about how “EEOC undermines job creation” with the news that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was considering that “requiring a high school diploma for a job can be an illegal act of discrimination.” EEOC’s reasoning was that “[p]eople with learning disabilities who don’t obtain diplomas face discrimination if businesses use the diploma as a way to screen job applicants.”
And if you can’t trust the Washington Times, who can you trust?
HR Law Matters emphasizes that “EEOC’s continued focus on aggressively litigating systemic charges of discrimination is not good news for employers” as the “EEOC is very interested in evaluating hiring decisions using a disparate impact theory.” Thus, “if the demographics of the employer’s community show minority candidates were available for work but they did not apply for the available positions, the EEOC’s question for those employers will be: Why were you not able to find the qualified minority candidates for the available work?”
And if companies aren’t allowed to discriminate against minority populations and treat white men as the only population entitled to things like jobs, food, and shelter, what use is it even bothering to have a company?!?
It is a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” predicament for employers — who themselves should be considered a “protected class” given the battering they receive from the federal government. This assault will now multiply and increase with the re-election of Barack Obama.
Why not? If ever a corporation applies for a job and is denied a job because its corporation status is used for a host of unrelated meaningless panics that prevent its general hire, leaving it at the mercy of starving to death in the street for want of employment, us poor oppressed masses will rise to the forefront to protect their equal rights.
In the meantime, maybe you and your ilk can let the rest of us barely almost think about almost slightly improving things in nearly meaningless ways.
Cause as your wandering verse revealed, an attack against one discriminated against minority never stays there. Because to you, felons, trans* people, queers, women, black people, latin@s are all the same group of Unmentionables who should be barred from even honest means of making one’s daily living.
‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. Yeah, as if it wasn’t obvious already, the closest I’ve ever gotten to being a felon is forgetting to move my car for street sweeping. We are aware of all Internet traditions.™
*Did a little futzing around the internet to try and learn more about Eileen Toplanksy and found a) a link to the wife of a Soviet bandleader and b) her being used in a deeply suspiciously self-promoting manner by a number of people claiming to be separate people. But hey, given the state of American Thinker these days, I’m actually surprised it took this long to start devolving into sockpuppetry.
**Yeah, the asterisk thing seems a little weird to me too, but I kinda dig it as a way to remind everyone that trans and transgender stand for the whole genderqueer community, not just us transmen and transwomen.