Stupid Government Tricks

It seems the geniuses in Philly’s city council plus Mayor Nutter have decided a really good way to make Philly more competitive is to make it more expensive to hire people.  They have decided to prohibit companies from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until after their first interview. The only exception is for law enforcement position.

Here’s a quote from the city’s FAQ.

even where such mandates [federal or state background check requirements] exist, most employers will be able to comply with both Ban the Box and the state or federal law by waiting until after the first interview to make criminal history inquiries; unless the state or federal law specifically requires that the inquiry be made on the employment application or during the first interview, employers are required to comply with Ban the Box.

Translation: even if you are required by law to perform a background check for a position where a criminal conviction will be an absolute disqualifier, you have to spend the money to process the application and perform an interview before you can ask whether the applicant has a criminal record.  Of course, this won’t actually stop an employer from refusing to hire someone with criminal conviction.  It will only raise the cost of doing business in the city.  Brilliant.

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