I bet Seattle jewelers are going to start seeing some interesting job applications soon.
The Seattle City Council [Monday] unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until after an initial screening. Employers could reject an applicant because of a criminal record, but only if there is a legitimate business reason to do so.
The measure was strongly opposed by some business groups, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, which said they didn’t want the city second-guessing their hiring decisions. They also opposed a provision that will allow the city Office of Human Rights to investigate complaints by job applicants who believe they were turned down solely because of their criminal history.
Since the only real defense against a charge of discriminatory hiring is evidence of existing diversity, Seattle companies will have to show that their workplaces are already diverse and consist of a proportional amount of criminals and non-criminals. That will mean a hiring boom for certain classes of “safe” criminals.
Suddenly having a criminal record is something that will make an otherwise undistinguished resume shine.
Hope, change and affirmative action for criminals.