The Massachusetts Legislature overwhelmingly has voted to make it harder for employers to find out if their prospective employees have criminal records. Under a bill passed this weekend, it is a prohibited practice for most employers to ask prospective employees on a job application if they’ve been convicted of a felony. The Legislature deems this the equivalent of discriminating against an employee on the basis of race or gender, which is a slap in the face to victims of real unlawful discrimination.
Employers will not have access to record information for most felonies after 10 years and most misdemeanors after 5 years.
In the middle of the deepest recession in recent historty, our Legislature responds by making it harder on employers to screen applicants. With huge numbers of law abiding citizens out of work through no fault of their own, the Legislature responds by taking away their advantage over convicted criminals.
It’s time for a change.