I have heard many employers and managers making statements to the effect that that they would never hire a convicted felon. Would you? I would caution you to carefully look at all the facts before answering.
A felon may have been convicted for numerous drunken driving offenses. After the third conviction, they are often adjudicated to be an “habitual offender”, which is a felony. If you were looking to hire a driver for your commercial fleet, you would be within your rights to deny this person a job.
If, on the other hand, the opening was for a sales person, making phone calls from a cubicle all day, then a person with a felony conviction for drunken driving could actually sue you if you turned them down based on the fact that they were a felon.
There’s a gym in the D.C. area where a convicted felon is an employee. He was not some drunk who kept driving impaired until he became a habitual offender. This felon is a registered sex offender. He works in a gym where there are thousands of women. He teaches classes that are probably made up of 90% – 95% females. Worse still, he has been known to regularly make sexual comments aimed at clients and co-workers.
Word recently leaked when someone who attends the gym looked up the registered sex offenders in her neighborhood and saw the gym employee. A senior employee was approached and asked what they were going to do about it. Their reply? They felt that there was nothing they could do since he was already working there for some time.
What makes this story all the more disturbing was that an employee was recently fired because she was texting during work hours. Not to condone texting at work, but is there not something seriously wrong with a workplace where a convicted sex offender who makes inappropriate sexual comments gets to keep their job and a texter loses theirs?
If you are an employer – big or small businesses, it doesn’t matter – do everything you can to safeguard your business from being held liable for actions that could have been easily avoided.
If you are an employee and you are being sexuallly harrassed at work, don’t accept it, report it. If your employer is afraid to “rock the boat” and does nothing about it, hire somebody like me who will do a thorough investigation.
If a victim approaches me from this gym, I will have the employee records subpoenaed, the hiring manager interviwed, court records of this criminal’s conviction and I will interview everybody in the gym who heard about his conviction ESPECIALLY the person who brought it to the manager’s attention.
Burying your head in the sand is not an option, unless you are an ostrich. Neither will courts be very forgiving if you try and use the clueless-large-flightless-bird defense.
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