Hire a thug: Obama bans feds from asking about criminal convictions on job applications
From my latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:
President Obama, ever willing to rule by decree when he can’t get the votes in Congress, has issued an executive order forbidding federal agencies from asking job applicants about their criminal histories on their employment applications. The idea behind this concept, known as “ban the box,” (the box next to the question asking whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime) is that people with records have a tough time finding work after they’re sprung. So if employers don’t find out about an applicant’s rap sheet until later in the hiring process–such as when doing a background check–they might decide that decide that the applicant is so super-qualified that they’ll hire him despite that little old burglary conviction from years past.***
The best analysis of Obama’s help-a-con order comes from Power Line‘s Paul Mirengoff:
“Obama says he wants employers to look at the qualifications of ex-cons before they disqualify them. But employers typically don’t weigh qualifications against criminality — the two criteria are entirely separate. If your past criminality is deemed to present an undue risk, it doesn’t matter how qualified you are. The federal government presumably uses this common sense approach to hiring.
“The real effects of ‘banning the box’ are more subtle than the ones Obama posits, or so it seems to me on initial reflection. First, it will prevent the feds from excluding ex-cons who lie about their criminal record. Why? Because if an applicant whom the government wants to hire is revealed via a background check to have prior convictions that he didn’t disclose on the application, the applicant can be excluded for lying even if the offense itself wasn’t serious enough to have disqualified. But if the employer doesn’t ask, there can be no exclusion for lying.
“Ex-cons who are willing to lie do not deserve to be hired. Now, some will be.”
But as the American Thinker‘s Thomas Lifson puts it: “One certain prediction: Obama and his family will never be guarded by a Secret Service agent with a criminal record.”