Congressman Wants Census to Hire No Criminals
January 22, 2010
Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) does not want the Census Bureau to hire anyone with a criminal record. “Allowing individuals with criminal records to be enumerators, who go out into the public and walk up to people’s homes and knock on doors, can have serious detrimental effects on the American people’s confidence in the census,” Chaffetz said.
And while I applaud his efforts to protect our nation’s citizens, his proposal will get the undivided attention of the EEOC who is aggressively pursuing employers that impose what they believe are discriminatory hiring practices on job applicants. They also are trying to curb criminal recidivism to get former convicts back to work so that they won’t turn back to crime. Their argument is that when conducting employment background checks employers need to look at the crime to determine job relatedness. They also need to consider other factors such as severity, how long ago it took place, whether the person is a repeat offender, etc.
In my opinion, there are certainly going to be some crimes that the Census Bureau should have a zero tolerance policy on. There will be others that really won’t amount to much. Take for instance check fraud in the state of Texas. Sounds like a pretty serious crime, right? In actuality, a person is charged with check fraud if they bounce a check for greater than $5.00. Oftentimes, the individual never knows that they have been prosecuted for the offense and the only thing they need to do to have it taken care of is to make good on the amount of the bounced funds. Now, in other places, check fraud is a very serious offense. There are many more instances of convictions like this and it wouldn’t really be practical/fair to reject candidates such as these.