-by Scoop (July 14, 2017)
e now live in an era when a person can hardly get a part-time minimum-wage job without first going through a full background check, including a clinical analysis of their bodily fluids. Some employers also want a potential candidate’s credit report and access to their social media accounts before they’ll interview them. Employers claim all this information is necessary in order to evaluate the potential employee and because also knowing their views on a variety on non-related work issues such as their religious beliefs, their politics and/or sexual orientation, etc. is helpful. Does that sound kind of “Orwellian” – as in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”?
So Here’s The Scoop: It surely appears that the once highly-treasured and protected right of privacy ‘thingy’ continues its hushed journey of becoming a vague memory as does the notion of ‘second chances’ in the United States because many employers also want to know if an applicant has ever filed for bankruptcy or if they’ve ever been arrested for violating any laws including, and I kid you not, misdemeanor traffic offenses as well.
And when someone is caught willfully or unknowingly violating any one of the countless scores of thousands of City, County, State or Federal ‘laws’ that are on the ‘books, once the perpetrator has been duly punished their brush with the law now includes a criminal-record that haunts and follows the ‘evil-doers’ to their crypt.
That additional persecution continues even when a person has gone through the legal process and expense of hiring an attorney, petitioning a court and requesting that their (e.g.) jay-walking violation be expunged and/or their records sealed from prying eyes.
Again, I kid you not but many employment applications – including some government forms such as those filled out when applying for a State timeshare salesperson license – demand that the applicant reveal those sealed and/or expunged records else they’ll face dire and swift ‘justice’ for their willful failure to divulge the requested information.
In those situations I believe that ‘justice’ should consist of a good public flogging in the town square with the trouble-makers restrained in a pillory and at the same time salt should be rubbed deep into their bloody wounds as well. That ought to teach ‘em for not following instructions – those low-life scumbag law-breakers!
All kidding aside, how the “…land of the free…” while forming a “…perfect union…” whereby “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” is at the core of our being became so anal retentive and how the U.S. also became the leading nation in the world for incarcerating more people than any other nation is beyond my comprehension.
OMG, ‘We the people…’ even tossed Martha Stewart into prison!
And for those who may not know it our “…government of the people, by the people and for the people…” has a population representing around 4.3% of the global population but continues to incarcerate roughly 24% of all those behind bars all around the world. About 2.2 Million people behind bars in the U.S; someone please explain that!
Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that according to the FBI website the U.S., a nation that most of us pledged our allegiance to each morning during those early school years, continues to arrest around 10-12 MILLION of us each year.
For those who like crunching numbers that means just during the past decade the ‘authorities’ (Federal, State, County & City) have slapped the cuffs on at least 100,000,000 (MILLION) folks – roughly 1/3 of the entire U.S. population and no Bubba, they weren’t all repeat offenders, ax murderers or perpetrators of other such heinous crimes.
To drive home that staggering number, if we add to that total the projected arrests over the next ten years (2017 to 2027) the grand total will be about 200,000,000 (MILLION) of us; you know, approaching 2/3 of the entire U.S. population!
So why am I bringing all this up and what does it have to do with our industry?
Well, IMO – we all need to ‘chill’ a bit when screening and hiring folks because a few people have e-mailed me recently telling me that just getting past the resume submission phase is quite challenging because their ‘history’ seems to indicate they may have passed gas in public at one time during their lives.
That said, from the developer level all the way down the food chain we all have a ‘past’. We have all broken some eggs in order to make an omelet and though it is not likely we’ll find a person within our ranks who is as pure as the freshly driven snow, so to speak – even if that person exists they, too, should be very cautious before they shun otherwise decent people who simply want to work and care for their families.
Good Luck Out There
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