Search Results for ‘Ban the box’

“Ban the Box” laws don’t work. So why do lawmakers love them so?

Elected officials across the aisle agree in applauding “ban the box” laws. Too bad they don’t work, I argue in my new piece at Cato. Earlier research found the laws didn’t improve employment of ex-offenders and actually harmed some groups. Now a new study finds no benefit for recidivism — and once again, harm to some groups.

With studies finding such laws ineffective even as to government hiring, “how much less justification is there for using them to constrain the freedom of private employers that have never incarcerated anyone”? Especially when directed at non-government employers, such laws “are a triumph of feel-good sentiment over economic rationality, practicality, and in the end the interests of the intended beneficiaries.” Whole piece here.

Ban the Box laws backfire badly, cont’d

“‘Ban the box’ laws, which bar employers from asking job applicants whether they have a criminal record, may be harming some of the people they are intended to help….several recent studies have found that black men, even those without a criminal history, are less likely to get called back or hired after a ban the box law is put in place.” Following a push by advocates, 29 states “prevent state and sometimes city and county employers from including a criminal history box on job applications. Nine states have extended the ban to private employers as well.” [Rebecca Beitsch, StateLine/Huffington Post] The effect was already being noticed in the policy literature a year ago. Earlier here.

“‘Ban the Box’ does more harm than good”

“‘Ban the box’ forbids public and often private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until late in the hiring process. Such policies have been adopted in cities and states across the country.” But two new working papers now “suggest that, as economic theory predicts, ‘ban the box’ policies increase racial disparities in employment outcomes” and specifically harm young minority applicants with clean criminal records. “We should repeal ‘ban the box’ and focus on better alternatives.” [Jennifer Doleac, Brookings Institution/Real Clear Markets]

P.S. Feds overcriminalize misconduct with one hand, push HR departments into not considering criminal convictions on the other [Scott Shackford, Reason] More: NYT “Room for Debate.”

NYC: “‘Ban the Box’ bill worries businesses”

Lawyers are warning that a bill to restrict consideration of criminal records in business hiring now pending in New York City would be even more burdensome to business than similar bills enacted in other cities and states, applying, for example, to businesses with as few as four employees, a lower threshold than usual. [Crain’s] The bill prohibits inquiry about criminal record until after a provisional job offer is made, at which point a reluctant employer must withdraw the offer, painting a large “Sue Me” target on its chest.

To be able to reject an applicant because of a past conviction, employers would have to go through a rigorous process that, if not followed, would result in the presumption that a business owner engaged in unlawful discrimination, [Reed Smith’s Mark] Goldstein said….

Additionally, the City Council bill would allow an applicant rejected because of a past crime seven days to respond. The job would have to be held open during that time….

In the bill’s current form, the business would bear the burden of proof in any resulting lawsuit by the job applicant, Mr. Goldstein said.

More: Nick Fishman, Employee Screen on unusually burdensome provisions of San Francisco “ban the box” law (“Employers can’t just sit back anymore and think that these laws are benign. At the least, they are creating an administrative nightmare. At worst, the plaintiff’s attorneys are standing by waiting for your first misstep.”)

“Push to ban crime box on job applications expands”

The federal EEOC has been helping prepare the ground with guidance indicating that it legally disfavors asking job applicants about criminal records across a wide range of situations. Meanwhile, activists in places like San Francisco seek local laws banning the practice in private employment, following successful campaigns to end it in the public sector. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Fifteen years ago at Overlawyered: “Lawsuit Urban Legends”

From June 2003, itself expanding earlier material, with new links added to replace those broken:

The following advisory originally appeared Aug. 27, 2001 on Overlawyered in slightly different form. It is reprinted here because it is among the information most often requested by visitors to the site.

You’ve probably seen it in your inbox: a fast-circulating email, often labeled “Stella Awards”, which lists six awful-sounding damage awards (to a hubcap thief injured when the car drives off, a burglar trapped in a house who had to eat dog food, etc.). Circumstantial details such as dates, names, and places make the cases sound more real, but all signs indicate that the list is fictitious from beginning to end, reports the urban-legends site (Barbara Mikkelson, “Inboxer rebellion: tortuous torts“). Snopes also has posted detailed discussions of two of the other urban legends we get sent often, the “contraceptive jelly” yarn, which originated with a tabloid (“A woman sued a pharmacy from which she bought contraceptive jelly because she became pregnant even after eating the jelly (with toast).” — “Jelly babied“) and the cigar-arson fable (“A cigar aficionado insures his stogies against fire, then tries to collect from his insurance company after he smokes them.” — “Cigarson“). And the story about the man setting the cruise control in his new Winnebago recreational vehicle, leaving the driver’s seat, and then suing the company after the resulting accident? That’s an urban legend too. What we wonder is, why would people want to compile lists of made-up legal bizarreries when they can find a vast stockpile of all-too-real ones just by visiting this website [and in particular its personal responsibility archives, older and newer series]?

NAMES IN STORIES: The never-happened stories include tales about “Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas” (trips on her toddler in furniture store); “Carl Truman of Los Angeles” (hubcap theft) “Terrence Dickson of Bristol Pennsylvania” (trapped in house), “Jerry Williams of Little Rock Arkansas” (bit by dog after shooting it with pellet gun), “Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania” (slips on drink she threw), and “Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware” (breaks teeth while sneaking through window into club). All these incidents, to repeat, appear to be completely fictitious and unrelated to any actual persons with these names.

Claim: “international human rights” requires gun bans

So many power grabs now get packed into an international human rights mold: here come claims that IHR requires laws aimed at restricting private access to guns in the U.S. [Leila Nadya Sadat and Madaline George on Harris Institute initiative at Washington U. Law; Patricia Illingworth; Jeremiah Ho] I wrote about the proliferation of international human rights claims in my 2011 book Schools for Misrule, and this site has previously covered efforts to invoke international human rights law against such practices as cultural appropriation, financial privacy and national fiscal austerity, gender-stereotypical speech, liberalization of labor markets, making city dwellers pay for water, failure to return land to long-displaced Indian tribes, disconnecting people from Internet service, lack of hate speech laws (and more and also see), non-recognition of a right to health care, Stand Your Ground rules on self-defense, videogames about war and depiction of rights violations in popular entertainment, evicting homeless encampments, “atrocity speech,” lack of affordable-housing programs, factory livestock farming, and foundling baby boxes. On the gun angle, see also the controversy over the small arms treaty.

Banking and finance roundup

  • “The real-world impact of Dodd-Frank, stress tests and other regs” [M&T Bank slideshow, American Banker] “Six feet of new mortgage regulations help explain slower housing market” [Ira Stoll]
  • Will Trump administration allow banking for cannabis-related businesses? [Kevin Funnell]
  • “‘Sustainability Standards’ Open A Pandora’s Box Of Politically Correct Accounting” [Howard Husock and Jim Copland]
  • An assumption of complete transparency would take away “the reason for financial intermediation in the first place” [Arnold Kling]
  • Statutes of repose in securities actions are important in protecting interests on both sides [WLF on CalPERS v. ANZ Securities, Inc.]
  • Encrypted messaging services allow Wall Streeters to bypass all sorts of regulatory scrutiny and speak freely, can’t have that [Bloomberg]

L.A. bans criminal record inquiries in hiring, even for non-L.A. employers

“Not to be outdone by San Francisco or New York City, the City of Los Angeles has enacted the strictest ‘ban the box’ ordinance in the country, and its many requirements are detailed and onerous….Notably, the employer need not be located within the city” to be covered, provided it has “10 or more employees who perform an average of at least two hours of work each week in the City of Los Angeles.” Employers cannot ask about criminal convictions before offering jobs, and can do so afterward only by using a multi-step process — providing a rationale in writing, holding a job open for at least five days while the applicant responds, then writing another document of justification — designed to facilitate successful litigation over the withdrawal of an offer. [Karen Dinino, Christine Samsel, and Sherli Shamtoub/Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck]