US Government: barring convicts from certain jobs is race discrimination

**Posted by Phineas

We last met the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) when they asserted that big-rig truck drivers can’t lose their jobs just because they’re alcoholics.

But wait, there’s more! Topping that bit of numskullery, the EEOC has issued guidelines stating that, should a business not hire someone because he or she is a convicted criminal they can be sued for racial discrimination. Under the “disparate impact” theory, not hiring someone who happens to be Black (or Asian, or Hispanic, or…) due to their criminal past can, because minorities make up most convicted felons, be construed as “racism,” even if the hiring employer used “race-neutral” means to make their decision.

But, of course. In the modern world, that makes perfect sense.

Walter Russell Mead describes some evident (1) problems with this:

Via Meadia believes in second chances, but there are plenty of jobs where an employer would have some very practical reasons not to hire an ex-convict. What retailer in its right mind would hire convicted thieves? Shouldn’t a small business owner with many female employees and customers be concerned about hiring a convicted rapist? But according to the EEOC, if you live in an area where more minorities are convicted of crimes, your blanket ban on hiring them is in effect discriminatory.

Of course, if you comply and do hire criminals who then go on to assault or burgle your clients, and they or their insurance companies find out you either knew the employee had been convicted or didn’t do the due diligence, then you are likely to get hit with a big negligence lawsuit. Will the EEOC pay for your lawyer? Or pay any damages you are assessed?

And, as the Times piece notes, most small businesses (the rule applies to anyone with more than 15 employees) don’t actually have the means to keep track of the endless proliferation of idiotic regulations from overzealous bureaucrats without enough adult supervision. This regulation is a gift to trial lawyers everywhere, and a barrier to small business development and growth.

And, naturally, this provides a big incentive for small businesses to not go beyond 14 employees. That’ll help unemployment.

With moronic regulations like these coming out seemingly every day, it’s a wonder anyone opens a small business anymore.

(1) Evident to anyone but an EEOC bureaucrat, apparently.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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