Are employee criminal background checks always a good idea?
Are criminal background checks on job applicants or existing employees always a good idea? Is refusing to hire somebody because of a criminal record always what’s best for society? This is a valid argument often brought up, particularly by those who have a criminal record.
Employers do have an obligation to protect their employees, assets and clients, but have employee background checks gone overboard? Every situation is unique so maybe hiring decisions should not always be based soley on the discovery of a criminal record.
It has been argued that not hiring otherwise qualified employees because of a criminal past is creating a permanent underclass of people who can only get hired for dead end minimum wage jobs, and drive some people to homelessness or crime. We have all heard about or experienced the growing costs of housing, food, electricity and gas. To make matters worse, in many metropolitan areas such as Pinellas County Florida, cheap housing is rapidly disappearing, and being replaced with more expensive housing, such as mobile home parks selling out to condo developers.
The majority of employers today won’t hire somebody with any felony record, even if the person is highly qualified and has repaid his or her debt to society. This now includes even Walmart and Home Depot!