Posts Tagged ‘criminal records and hiring’

Occupational licensure reform advances

“The Latest On Occupational Licensing Reform: At the federal level and in the state of Michigan, there have been encouraging moves toward market liberalization.” [Thomas A. Hemphill and Jarrett Skorup, Cato Regulation mag] Related: George Leef, Regulation (reviewing “Bottleneckers” by William Mellor and Dick M. Carpenter II). “Florida Lawmakers Are Fast-Tracking Licensing Reforms” [Boehm] “But sadly Elias Zarate is no closer to being a barber, because he still doesn’t have a high school diploma. And, yes, that matters for some reason.” [same] “Inside the Insane Battle Over Arizona’s Blow-Dry Licensing Bill” [same] “Tennessee has imposed nearly $100K in fines for unlicensed hair braiding since 2009” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal] Licensing bars on applicants with criminal histories, often related hardly at all to the risks of crime in licensed occupations, make re-entry of offenders harder [Arthur Rizer and Shoshana Weissmann, The Blaze] A Twitter thread on board certification of music therapists, which are licensed in 10 states [Shoshana Weissmann et al.] Study: “optician licensing appears to be reducing consumer welfare by raising the earnings of opticians without enhancing the quality of services delivered to consumers.” [Edward J Timmons and Anna Mills, Eastern Economic Journal]

Liability for abetting workplace bias

“Like the non-discrimination laws in a number of other states, including California, New Jersey, and Illinois, New York State‚Äôs Human Rights Law (‘NYSHRL’) contains a provision extending liability to those who aid and abet discrimination or retaliation.” The kicker is that New York’s law can impose extraterritorial liability on actors outside the state — such as a national moving and relocation firm that required by contract that its local contractor exclude from employment persons with certain categories of criminal convictions, and is now facing ban-the-box-related liability over that to New York plaintiffs that it did not itself employ. [Jodi Frankel, DLA Piper Labor Dish]

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.

Seattle landlords aren’t to know about would-be tenants’ criminal records

“The Seattle City Council approved an ordinance Monday that will mostly prohibit landlords from screening tenants based on their criminal records. Landlords will be barred from excluding people with records in advertisements. When taking applications, they will be barred from asking about records. And in choosing tenants, they will be barred from rejecting people due to their records.” [Daniel Beekman, Seattle Times] Now with more re-education: “Any participation in this ‘conciliation’ process also mandates landlords attend anti-bias training courses.” [Christian Britschgi, Reason]

Labor and employment roundup

  • Rhode Island bill would lock in existing public employee union benefits until new contract reached. Why bargain in good faith? [Providence Journal editorial]
  • NYC Mayor De Blasio signs “Fair Work Week” package imposing on fast-food and retail employers various constraints typical of unionized workplaces; meanwhile, court strikes down 2015 NYC law imposing punitive terms on nonunion but not union car washes [Seth Barron, City Journal; Ford Harrison on new legal package]
  • How reliable a guide is Paul Krugman on the minimum wage? [Scott Sumner and commenters] “Thing is, there has been an awful lot more empirical research on the effects of minimum wage increases than this one paper by Card and Krueger.” [Thomas Firey, Cato] “New Paper Shows Workers Commute Away From Minimum Wage Rises” [Ryan Bourne, Cato]
  • House hearing: “Illinois worker recounts ordeal to decertify union” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
  • New Mexico: “‘Ban the box’ issue not so clear cut” [Joel Jacobsen, Albuquerque Journal]
  • In which Jonathan Rauch and I for once disagree, but still a good survey of ideas for reinventing unionism (works councils, Andy Stern/Eli Lehrer, Ghent, etc.) [The Atlantic]

Workplace roundup

  • Occupational licensure reforms advance in Mississippi and Arizona [Eric Boehm, Reason, first and second posts]
  • I should live so long: “Will the New York Times’ Labor Reporting Ever Get the Facts Straight?” [Jim Epstein; coverage here of the NYT’s 2015 nail salon reporting embarrassment]
  • Silliest claim about proposed salary-history-inquiry bans is that they would advance “transparency” in hiring [Seth Barron]
  • Many states complicate offender re-entry after incarceration with needless licensing barriers and fingerprint checks [Eli Lehrer, Inside Sources]
  • H.R. 1180 (“Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017”), introduced by Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), would curb some overtime litigation by allowing private sector comp time under some conditions [Evil HR Lady]
  • Layers of irony: “Disability Services Company to Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit” [commission press release in EEOC v. ValleyLife (Arizona), h/t Roger Clegg]

Higher education roundup

  • U.S. Department of Education and Title IX: “The Office for Civil Rights Is Still Out of Control” [KC Johnson]
  • Mobility penalty: “The residency requirement in Cuomo’s free tuition plan makes a bad idea worse” [Beth Akers]
  • Loyalty oaths? Many colleges now require diversity statements for hiring and promotion [George Leef] Public college expels nursing student for breach of professional ethics code that includes ideological commitments, Supreme Court should review [Ilya Shapiro and David McDonald/Cato, Eugene Volokh on petition for certiorari in Keefe v. Adams]
  • Maryland lawmakers move to bar colleges from asking applicants about criminal records [WYPR; Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun]
  • “Colleges and the First Amendment” [video, Federalist Society panel with Michael McConnell, Philip Hamburger, et al.] Eugene Volokh presentation on free speech on campus Reason video, etc.
  • “Torch the miscreant, resanctify the community.” Laura Kipnis attends a Title IX trial [Chronicle of Higher Education, (from her forthcoming book); more at Reason]

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]

Schools and childhood roundup

  • In the mail: “No Child Left Alone: Getting the Government Out of Parenting,” forthcoming book by Abby Wisse Schachter [more: Pittsburgh Tribune Eric Heyl interview]
  • Neighbor reports Winnipeg mom to child services for letting kids play in fenced-in back yard [Canadian Press/National Post via Amy Alkon]
  • “Public space in Germany is not held hostage by liability lawsuits; Berlin playgrounds are not designed by lawyers.” And they’re awesome [Anna Winger, New York Times]
  • Controversy intensifies further on Scotland’s Named Person scheme [Scottish Mail on Sunday (“complete stranger” will be assigned as Named Person to each child over school holidays), Gerald Warner/CapX, earlier here and here]
  • Omar Mateen’s road to becoming a security guard: “He had issues. All the records were discarded by the school system, per statute. Clearly, if his employer had access to his juvenile record, he would be the last person to own a weapon.” [Yahoo]
  • Kansas Supreme Court orders state legislature to increase funding for poor districts [ABA Journal, earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Left-right cooperation on school reform begins to break down amid demands to toe social justice line [Robert Pondiscio]