Could Occupy Wall Street Protests Hurt Job Prospects?
October 13, 2011
As the Occupy Wall Street protests continue to gather steam and garner national attention, I’ve been thinking about how to correlate this anti-corporate sentiment as it relates to the background screening services we provide. There have been a number of arrests, whether for disorderly conduct or violence which will inevitably lead to convictions. And those that express their opinions through social networking sites are creating a digital footprint of these same sentiments.
I’m not really sure I have an intelligent opinion on the merits of these rallies or the lack thereof. And let’s face it, who cares if I do? However, the question I have is how this activity may affect their future employment prospects. We all know that people’s political belief’s are not supposed to be considered in employment decisions. But how about anti-business sentiment? Will it scare employers away? Will arrests and, or convictions for civil disobedience cause employers to move to the next candidate? There is no real precedence for the answers to these questions.
It would have been interesting to see how these activities would have been viewed by employers had background checks been in vogue in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s protests over things such as racial equality and the Vietnam War.
I suspect that the backlash to participants, specifically those convicted of criminal activity, will be punished by both the justice system as well by future employers. As far as participation in these rallies and online rhetoric designed to incite people, we’ll just have to see.
What do you think?