Hillary vows: Under my administration, former presidents won’t have to declare their criminal records on job applications
A palate cleanser via Slate, which wonders if this is a brain fart or something more substantial, like a Freudian slip. Me, I’m just wondering whether by criminally inclined former presidents she was thinking of Bill or herself in 10 years. What if that FBI investigation into her server bears fruit and she can’t get hired anywhere after her second term ends in 2025?
Ah well. I suppose that’s what slush funds are for.
Never mind the gaffe, though. What exactly is she suggesting here? She’s talking about the box on job applications where the applicant is asked if he/she has any criminal record. Once the Clinton monarchy is restored, she vows, that box will be eliminated. Which means … employers aren’t entitled to know whether they’re hiring an ex-con with a history of violence and/or theft? No no, Twitter pals assure me, that’s not what she’s saying. If employers want to conduct background checks of prospective employers, of course they’re entitled to do that; eliminating the box on a job application form is just a way to help ex-cons gain threshold consideration in the hiring process. If they look like a solid hire until the background check, maybe the employer will decide to give them a chance notwithstanding what the background check reveals. Okay, but you’re potentially talking about a lot of extra background checks that might otherwise be easily avoided by letting the employer ask about a criminal record up front. And if the idea behind banning the box from job applications is that it’s discriminatory to rule out an applicant from the get-go based on his criminal history, why isn’t it also discriminatory to rule him out after the background check? The point of federal interference in hiring is to ensure that people aren’t being ruled out over criteria that’s unrelated to their behavior on the job, i.e. race, sex, religion, etc. Whether you’ve been to prison for stealing isn’t unrelated. If an employer wants to voluntarily omit the box from their job application, more power to ’em. But why force the other?