Texas Debates on Criminal Records & Job Applications
Posted on Nov 18, 2013 9:00am UTC
Statistics show that more than 65 million Americans have been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense. This equates to roughly 1 out of every 4 Americans having an arrest or criminal record – a large percentage of which involve non-violent drug crimes. Because the number of Americans with criminal records has increased dramatically over the past several decades – and because employers are relying on criminal background checks when hiring workers in a tough economy – various efforts have been made to protect applicants from unfair job denials.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has lead the way in helping employers create sensible policies for evaluation applicants with criminal records. Guidance proposed last year included the following:
- Employers would not be barred from considering applicants’ criminal records.
- Employers would not be required to hire someone with a criminal record.
Additionally, the EEOC suggested certain factors employers should consider when determining whether or not to hire an applicant with a criminal record. These factors include, among others:
- The nature of the crime
- Time since conviction
- The applicant’s criminal conduct in relation to the duties of the position for which they are applying
The EEOC guidance was intended to encourage employers to take a rational approach to evaluating applicants with criminal records and to deter policies that unfairly consider irrelevant or inaccurate information that make it more difficult for applicants to find employment.
Texas Fires Back
Not everyone is pleased with the proposed guidance, however. In fact, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot has boisterously opposed the EEOC guidance, stating that it violates state sovereignty by controlling employers. Abbot also stated that the policy was an overreach by the current administration and that it would threaten public safety.
Facing criminal charges? Put an experienced Houston criminal lawyer on your side!
Although arguments will likely rage on, the fact remains that many convicted individuals face strong social opinions. Whether this judgment comes from prospective employers, landlords, or others in the community, the opinion is often strong. Facing the “social court,” is often one of the most difficult repercussions convicted individuals face. It can also have a profound and long-term impact.
If you or a loved one has recently been charged with a criminal offense in Houston or any of the surrounding communities of Texas, a Houston criminal defense attorney from Billy Skinner & Associates is prepared to fight to protect your future.
For a free consultation, call (713) 600-7777 or fill out a free case evaluation form.