Apr 4, 2011

Exposing Employment Discrimination: 65 Million 'Need Not Apply'

The National Employment Law Project's March publication, "65 Million 'Need Not Apply," exposes the blatant discrimination of individuals with criminal convictions across the U.S. by both large companies and small, questions the rational that a criminal record accurate predicts negative work behavior despite some significant evidence otherwise, and highlights recent law suits and policy recommendations that could enhance public safety by protecting the rights of the formerly incarcerated.

It is also one of the first publications, at least that I've seen, that highlights the wave of recent lawsuits that have been brought pursuit to federal law challenging exclusionary hiring practices. 
While enforcing the laws protecing individuals with convictions are crucial, it is equally important to publicize the fact that these lawsuits are regularly occurring. Doing so not only draws employers attention to the law, but emphasizes that discrimination will hit employers where it most hurts, in their pockets.

The publication also focuses on discriminatory job advertisements on Craigs List, where many employers blatantly advertise their illegal blanket bans on hiring individuals with arrests or convictions.   Using language like,  "We are looking for people with spotless background/criminal history (CORT Furniture Retal), "Applicants must also pass a background investigation showing no felony convictions (Domino's Pizza), and  No Felonies or Misd. allowed (Peak Organization, Staffing Firm NYC), NELP found over 300 adds at Criags list that facially discriminate.

To read the full text of the publication, including NELP's policy recommendations, click here.