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Felons say they’re unfairly locked out of job market

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

– Ashland Mail Tribune, June 2, 2014

Editors’ note: Lane Solution is not taking sides on this issue. Rather we are calling attention to the inevitable unintended consequences of governmental social engineering.

…Convicted felons in Jackson County and around the country face an uphill battle trying to land a job…

“I think if given the opportunity, most felons could prove themselves as more than capable to work anywhere,” said 24-year-old [convicted felon] Keith Farnsworth…

It’s one of the first questions on most job applications: Have you ever been convicted of a crime?..

In Oregon, Multnomah County and the city of Eugene have agreed to put off asking whether applicants have a criminal conviction until later in the interview process.

There are a dozen other states with laws requiring employers to “ban the box,” [Maurice] Emsellem [a program director at National Employment Law Project] said…

…” ‘Ban the box’ is not saying you cannot conduct a background check. It’s saying that employers have to take the question off the application and ask it later in the process.”…

Our Response and Your Comments

Allow us to gaze into our crystal ball and make a few predictions – all based on government’s tainted history of past attempts at applying “compassion” to the pursuit of “fairness” and “level playing fields.”

  1. Oregon will eventually “ban the box.”
  2. The “deadly duo” of lobbyists and lawyers will carve out a few dozen exceptions to ensure that rapists won’t be considered for jobs at women’s gyms and embezzlers won’t be interviewed for cashier positions.
  3. Felons will advance in the hiring process only to have their hopes dashed after the second or third interview.
  4. Companies will be sued for doing simple Internet background checks and tossing felonious applicants out without interviewing them.
  5. When the lobbying, lawyering and evading are all done, companies that are open to hiring felons will still hire felons and those opposed still will not.

In the long, sordid and failed history of governmental social engineering, thus has it been and thus always shall it be.

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