The latest insane regulations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have me frothing at the mouth. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Last April, the agency unveiled its "Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions," declaring that "criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin."
Though blacks make up only 13% of the U.S. population, more blacks were arrested nationwide for robbery, murder and manslaughter in 2009 than whites, according to the FBI. The imprisonment rate for black men "was nearly 7 times higher than White men and almost 3 times higher than Hispanic men," notes the EEOC. These statistical disparities inspired the EEOC to rewrite the corporate hiring handbook to level the playing field between "protected groups" and the rest of the workforce.
. . .
If a background check discloses a criminal offense, the EEOC expects a company to do an intricate "individualized assessment" that will somehow prove that it has a "business necessity" not to hire the ex-offender (or that his offense disqualifies him for a specific job). Former EEOC General Counsel Donald Livingston, in testimony in December to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, warned that employers could be considered guilty of "race discrimination if they choose law abiding applicants over applicants with criminal convictions" unless they conduct a comprehensive analysis of the ex-offender's recent life history.
. . .
The EEOC's new regime leaves businesses in a Catch-22. As Todd McCracken of the National Small Business Association recently warned: "State and federal courts will allow potentially devastating tort lawsuits against businesses that hire felons who commit crimes at the workplace or in customers' homes. Yet the EEOC is threatening to launch lawsuits if they do not hire those same felons."
There's more at the link.
Speaking as a former prison chaplain, allow me to assure you that I wouldn't hire 99% of the inmates with whom I used to work. I'm all too well aware that someone who's established a pattern of criminal offenses, and has been in and out of jail, doesn't offer much hope for rehabilitation. The recidivism rate in the USA is estimated to be over two-thirds in the 3 years after release. To mandate by law that employers hire such people, given so high a risk of recidivism, is absolutely insane! The EEOC is virtually guaranteeing that two out of three former inmates hired will pose a risk of criminal behavior to their employers!