Obama Administration: Refuse To Hire Convicted Felons…YOU Get Dragged To Court

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All of my fellow small-business owners, now we’ve got this to worry about:

Should it be a federal crime for businesses to refuse to hire ex-convicts? Yes, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which recently released 20,000 convoluted words of regulatory “guidance” to direct businesses to hire more felons and other ex-offenders.

Most businesses perform criminal background checks on job applicants, but the EEOC guidance frowns on such checks and creates new legal tripwires that could spark federal lawsuits. One EEOC commissioner who opposed the new policy, Constance Barker, warned in April that “the only real impact the new Guidance will have will be to scare business owners from ever conducting criminal background checks. . . . The Guidance tells them that they are taking a tremendous risk if they do.”

Note what the Obama administration objects to– not just the “no hiring felons” policy, but simply doing any criminal background checks in the first place.

But wait: why, you ask, is this a problem in the first place? How in the world can it possibly be illegal to do criminal background checks? Since when do criminals have a “right to get hired?” What am you doing wrong by conducting a CORI background check?

Simple: You’re a racist:

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….

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.[emphasis added]

In other words, your female employees have to work alone with violent ex-cons because you’re not allowed to find out about your new hire’s prison record. President Obama won’t let you.

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Michael Graham
Radio talk show host, columnist for the Boston Herald, stand-up comic and former GOP political consultant. Learn more about Michael here.

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For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I've been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don't know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population... I stand corrected: These data won't be available at all. Ever.-- Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View.