Writing in the Atlantic about incarceration and the black family, Ta-Nehisi Coates specifically points at “housing discrimination based on a criminal-background check” as a barrier to re-entry, and he talks about high rates of unemployment and recidivism among ex-offenders. These same themes motivate the Ban the Box campaign that aims to eliminate the automatic exclusion of ex-offenders from employment simply due to a criminal background.
More generally, a growing body of public policy has the objective of increasing employment among ex-offenders by eliminating discrimination against them.
But you, as an employer, have another obligation. You are legally and ethically responsible for the safety of your customers, workers, and business associates due to the actions of your employees. You can pay dearly if you hire someone who is unfit. One of the most powerful tools you have to ensure making good choices among job applicants is the background check, and one of the most important factors you want to know about is criminal behavior.
Taken to extremes, these two imperatives are on a collision course. Employers need to avoid both the risks of negligent hiring and charges of discrimination. It’s essential to know how to balance the trade-offs between these risks.
Our new infographic provides a clear path that can help employers to avoid negative consequences and potentially even identify excellent employees among ex-offenders. Check it out here:
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