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E25: What Are Ban the Box Laws?

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This week we explore the topic of Quiet Firing and how it can cause employers legal trouble in the workplace.

In this week’s episode, resident expert Kathleen Jennings and host Thom Jennings have a spirited discussion about Ban the Box Laws, an initiative that will impact the pre-employment screening process. Ban the box laws prohibit employers from asking applicants about their criminal history. What does this mean for employers? Kathleen and Thom will fill you in!

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Podcast Episode Transcript

Narrator (00:04):
You are listening to Cover Your Assets, a podcast that discusses the timely and significant legal issues faced by employers. Kathleen Jennings is an attorney who has over 30 years of experience in advising employers as to their legal responsibilities and has written extensively about employment law. Inner Popular Cover Your Assets blog. If your business has employees you cannot afford not to have your assets covered.

Thomas Jennings (00:31):
Hello everyone and welcome to Cover Your Assets, the the Best Labor and Employment Law podcast in the universe. Not just the world, but the universe. And, and I say this because, because not only am I a part of it, but because my sister resident expert Kathleen Jennings is here as well. Hi sis. How

Kathleen Jennings (00:50):
Are you? I'm doing great, Thom. Thanks for the kind words.

Thomas Jennings (00:53):
Yeah, I, it's, so, I was, and the reason I I introduce us as the best is because I have this Facebook friend. Facebook is a social media platform for old people like me, and they're in a, they're in a he's in a Fleetwood Mac tribute and he's one of these guys that always posts these really angry posts about every other, all the music stuff, you know, like, it, it's amazing that he doesn't have someone in his life that says, Hey, don't post this stuff all the time. It sounds very angry and negative. So he said that you should only, cuz there was another band coming to town that was a Fleetwood Mac tribute band, and they said they were the best. And he says, you should only claim that you're the best if you've won some award. So I've I would like to award us the best podcast about labor and employment law. So there you go. We are,

Kathleen Jennings (01:38):
I like it. Thanks. Yes, congratulations. I accept this award on behalf of myself and my favorite brother Thom.

Thomas Jennings (01:45):
Absolutely. And today's topic, it's an interesting one. You you came up with this one. I had never heard of it. It, it's, the, the term is is interesting and it doesn't even necessarily, I, I don't know. I mean, you told me, I didn't even know what the heck. It, it doesn't really relate to the topic in a way, does it? I mean, I, I

Kathleen Jennings (02:03):
Don't know. I, I think based on what the topic is, it's probably a good thing that you don't know what Ban the box means, because that means, so, Thom, I'm, I'm glad that you don't know what Ban the Box means. And Ban the Box is part of our topic for today because Ban the Box has to do with the consideration of one's criminal background in employment. So if it's not something that you've had to deal with, I guess it's, it's safe to say that you are not a criminal, well,

Thomas Jennings (02:40):
Not a convicted criminal <laugh> we'll say that,

Kathleen Jennings (02:44):
But yes. And, and that's, that's a distinction that we can discuss today because in addition to the Ban the Box, we'll also talk about what happens if one of your employees gets arrested.

Thomas Jennings (02:57):
Yeah. And I, and I d I mean, for the record in back in 19, I think it was 1982, I did get busted stealing a submarine sandwich from a grocery store. But to the best of my knowledge, that has been expunged from my record. And the only thing they made me do was pay them back for the said submarine sandwich. And they told me that I had to tell my parents, which I did, cuz they said if they, I didn't, they would call my parents. But they never, and they're your parents too, come to think of it.

Kathleen Jennings (03:25):
Wow. Yeah. Isn't that a coincidence? Yeah. Well, I I can say my criminal history would be summed up by the fact that I set the house on fire when I was 16 months. That is, that is correct. That's months old. But I was never charged for that crime.

Thomas Jennings (03:43):
Yep. So we have an arsonist and a thief hosting this podcast today, but ban the box. In all seriousness, folks, it is a very timely topic, and it does, as my sister, the resident expert and attorney employment law attorney for that matter mention, it has to do with criminal background check laws. And of course, in this case, as in many of the topics that we talk about, this pertains to state law. But again, state laws, they tend to go, correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears that they state seem to go in like waves. So if there's one state that passes a law, another state could potentially pass the law. And it seems like this Ban the Box law is gaining some momentum in different states across the

Kathleen Jennings (04:26):
Country. I agree, Thom, and, and I think it's important for our listeners to understand that this is not only something covered by state laws. There are with federal contractors the Ban the Box is part of the federal contractor. You can't have a criminal background check at at, at a certain point in that consideration. And there's even localities specific cities that have passed their own Ban the Box ordinances. So it's important to keep up with not only your state law, but the law of the city or municipality in which you're doing business.

Thomas Jennings (05:04):
Yep. And again, this could go down to the local level. It could be, for instance, as we know, some states have areas that have densely populated urban areas that may have different laws than areas that are rural. So you really have to make sure if you are an HR professional, that you're up to date on all the ordinances, federal, state, and local.

Kathleen Jennings (05:24):
Correct. And ban the box, since we haven't actually described what specifically that means. It is the type of law that prohibits an employer from considering or, or asking. And, and the box that it refers to is the box on an employment application where you would ask, have you ever been convicted of a crime or have you ever been convicted of a felony? These ban the box laws prohibit employers from asking for that type of information until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. And the reasoning is that by asking criminal history before the offer has been made, that that could tend to screen out minorities who have suffered higher rates of criminal charges and incarceration. And so it could have that kind of question, could have a disparate impact

Thomas Jennings (06:26):
And, and not, you know, not, not just minorities mean men tend to have higher rate of conviction than women when it comes to crimes. Well,

Kathleen Jennings (06:34):
Women are smarter and they're less likely get caught <laugh>. So I, I think that's a reasonable explanation. And then you, you would wanna have the smarter applicant. So

Thomas Jennings (06:45):
Yeah, if there's one area where you don't want to have equality, it's in the amount of criminal convictions in your gender. But in all seriousness, this, I mean, it is a, it is a big issue. And I was surprised I pulled up this lengthy blog post on that was done by a company called Paycor. Now, I, the reason I say say Paycor is because it's actually a, a software that I use, and you and I have talked about, man, they would be a great sponsor for this program. So while they're not a sponsor, man, they should be, and that's why I'm gonna say Paycor, because now maybe we can just put that into the show description and someone at Paycor will say, man, this is a fantastic show and we should be a sponsor. Was that, was that enough of a shameless plug?

Kathleen Jennings (07:25):
Pretty shameless,

Thomas Jennings (07:26):
But but so, so, and here's the thing too. So it says that one of the statistics that I thought was, was very, was startling was the amount of people that had convictions or it just being arrested. What, what's your guess

Kathleen Jennings (07:40):
Arrested or convicted of any crime or felony?

Thomas Jennings (07:43):
Well, well, the term that they use is a criminal history. So criminal history, I believe could be boast. How many of approximately percentage wise, just take a guess.

Kathleen Jennings (07:52):

Thomas Jennings (07:53):
This is one in three 70 million Americans who are working age have some kind of criminal history.

Kathleen Jennings (07:59):
Interesting. Yes. So I was a little on the high side.

Thomas Jennings (08:01):
You were a little, you were a little pessimistic, but

Kathleen Jennings (08:03):
Yes. Yeah. Well, I have practiced criminal defense. So <laugh>, I have been up close and personal with various convicted criminals. But

Thomas Jennings (08:13):
For our HR people, when it what, what's important and the reason they call it Ban the Box, as you mentioned, it's part of the application process. So for the most part, this, the Ban the Box initiatives are targeting the, the first phase of the employment process. So in other words, you know, I, I would assume that, I don't assume, I mean, this is how it works. You know, you, you start, you start out with an application for employment. So you put out an ad, you say, Hey, look, I'm looking for applicants. And then phase two is you're going to screen the applicants. And from the, you know, whether it's a, a job application that's electronic, which most of 'em are today, or who knows if there's paper ones or resumes or whatever you, you're gonna screen out based on, on a number of factors.

Thomas Jennings (08:56):
And let's face it, if you look at a, something that says criminal history, it, it's gonna be probably one of the ones that you're not gonna be likely to interview, especially if you have a ton of applications. So if you have applications with people with similar skill sets, but of the two or of the three, if we're saying one in three has a criminal background, there you go. That person is now in a situation where it's that much more difficult to obtain employment. And societally, that's, that continues the cycle of, of people that if they are in a, in involved in a crime, and again, not everybody's a thief for drug dealer or any of that stuff. I mean, people get, get, have crimes that are non-violent or whatever, but it, it, it can create a cycle of poverty that's very difficult.

Kathleen Jennings (09:39):
It could, so what these laws are, are looking to achieve is for employers when they run a criminal background check, and that would be after the conditional offer of employment to then consider whether any criminal history is disqualifying for the particular job that the person has applied for. So for example, if someone has applied for a job as a bank teller, and it turns out that the criminal background check shows that they have a history of burglary or larceny or some kind of theft, those types of convictions should disqualify that person from performing the job of bank teller. And if you have employees that go into people's homes or have interaction with the public, or even more vulnerable people like elderly or children, then there's going to be some convictions that are going to disqualify those folks from those types of jobs. Because if they've been convicted of some kind of assault crime or violent crime, or a crime against children, you don't want those people on your payroll going out and, and interacting with the public because you don't know what they might do, unfortunately. And so there's a real tension between protecting the company from possible wrongdoing by someone who has a history of, of crime versus giving somebody who's been convicted of a crime a second chance

Thomas Jennings (11:19):
Or third chance or fourth chance. No, I, I mean, I, I, this issue to me comes down to it. It's, and I don't really think that you and I need to weigh in on our opinion of whether it's good or it's bad, but it's something that every company, anyone that's involved in the hiring process, whether they agree with it or not, they have to contend with it. They have to look at it. And these, and these situations, they can be difficult. I mean, I remember when I worked for a company, we had a person that was hired to work with children. They eventually were arrested for sexually assaulting one of the said children. And they did have a criminal record, but the criminal re re record was related to them stealing money from a daycare center that they worked at previously. So a lot of people were critical and said, well, why would you hire a guy with a criminal record to work at work with children? But as you said, in this situation, like it or not, that crime wasn't related to the job at hand. But again, this isn't an, and like you said, it's, it's not something that eliminates an employer's ability to screen out people. It just, what it does is it puts it in a different part of the process.

Kathleen Jennings (12:35):
It does. And, and what it also does though, unfortunately, for the employer is once you have knowledge of that criminal history, then you have to act in a way to protect your employees and your customers and the public from any future crimes by that person. So you have to weigh, you know, this person has been convicted of some kind of violent felony. They say that, you know, they was a, a one time thing. They were young, they made a mistake. But at the same time do I want to take the risk that it could happen again to one of my employees or to one of my customers, or while this person's on my clock? Because if it does happen chances are you're gonna get sued. Yeah.

Thomas Jennings (13:33):
And I, and I, and, and this really, I think this also makes it necessary for employers to really button up the hiring process as far as actually checking references. I know a lot of companies request them, but I'll tell you, over the years I've applied for jobs, I've received job offers, and nobody has called any of my previous employers. They haven't called any the personal references. So this, if anything, this gives companies an opportunity to kind of reassess what the process is, make sure that they're doing what they need to do. Because this, again, you make an offer of, of employment and it's conditional, which means that, that there's certain things that have to happen. A friend of mine I was speaking to today, he is a truck driver. So he was offered a job and he has to go take a urine test because if he fails the urine test, he no longer has the job. So he's, he's does all the paperwork and does all that kind of stuff, but that doesn't mean he has the job. That's the condition. So in this case, like you said, you hire somebody to work with children, you, you run the background check, turns out criminal background check, turns out that they have a previous conviction or multiple convictions, <laugh> that related to abuse of children. No, they're not protected. No. You still have to, yeah, you still, you still, you don't have to hire 'em. That's the condition, you know, and hopefully

Kathleen Jennings (14:55):

Thomas Jennings (14:55):
Hopefully somebody in those situations, and unfortunately people do things that are crazy sometimes, but hopefully somebody in that situation doesn't apply work with kids. But, you know, unfortunately they do. But shame on you as an employer if you don't find out that information.

Kathleen Jennings (15:08):
Well, and that's, that's really, I, I think my advice to employers would be probably, unfortunately to err on the side of not hiring people with any kind of serious criminal history, particularly if they're in jobs where they deal with the public or they're interacting with other employees, really depends on the type of job. But I would always recommend airing on the side of protecting yourself and protecting your employees and protecting your customers when

Thomas Jennings (15:42):
Possible. And again, weighing the risk, looking

Kathleen Jennings (15:45):
At the risk and weighing the risk. That's, and that's what it is. There's, there's always gonna be a risk when you hire somebody who has been convicted of particularly a, a seriously violent crime crimes against children. You know, there's some crimes, if somebody's been convicted of misdemeanor or marijuana possession, that's probably not gonna disqualify them from most jobs. Unless you have a company that has a strict no drug policy and you know, you give 'em a drug pre-employment drug test to see if they pass it. And, you know, it's the, it's the stupid applicant who can't pass a pre-employment drug test <laugh> cause they know it's coming. Yeah. And so if they can just time things right, they can clear that pre-employment drug test. So if they're not even smart enough to pass that, you know, probably not gonna be a model employee.

Thomas Jennings (16:44):
Yeah. I, I, I worked with a guy, this was in the nineties, and boy, I'm just chock full of stories today. So he he was a temp and he was looking to get a, a permanent position and they loved his work, but he, I mean, this guy smoked more weed than I'd ever seen anybody smoke in my life. I mean, every break he was going off getting high and everything, and the employer knew it, but they also had this, this policy, you know, zero tolerance on the drug test. So they told him, they said, listen, we want to hire your, your drug test is gonna be on said day. And he went and got this stuff, I don't know what it was called, I think it was called Golden Seal. And it was a thing where you had to drink a whole bunch of liquid and, you know, get it outta your system. Over a course of three or four days he passed, and then he was hired, and then he just went back to his pot smoking waste <laugh>. So it's

Kathleen Jennings (17:30):
Yeah, but see, he, he knew how to beat the drug test. You know, I had a client when I was doing criminal defense and he was drug tested for his, for probation. And so there is a device out there called the Ator. Oh. But this guy was too cheap to buy buy one, so he employed a homemade ator that did not operate properly. So he basically got caught with a tube in his pants and, and got his probation revoked. But we digress.

Thomas Jennings (18:03):
Well, I, I, I had a guy, it's a interest. I mean, we should just do a whole episode on urine tests. No, I'm just kidding. But, but there was a guy you reminded me of a story we had, we had a guy that filled the vine bottle, like, and I was the one that actually donated the urine to him. And so they he went to go do the urine test and they actually had to watch him do it. And he tried to, to use the vine bottle, and he got caught with the vine bottle, and then he had to use some of his actual urine. And of course, he failed the test and he didn't get hired. So, you know, but hey, listen, you need urine. If you can figure out a way to turn it into the test you know, gimme just PayPal me, Venmo me, I'll I'll give you some clean urine.

Kathleen Jennings (18:39):
Good to know, Thom. Thanks for offering that to all of our listeners.

Thomas Jennings (18:42):
<Laugh>, it's, it's, you're like, well, you're 22 years old, but man, you have these you're prostates in terrible shape. I don't understand it. But yeah. So another thing that we should touch on, of course is this, this, and, well, actually, one thing I wanna mention before we move on from the criminal background checks is that another factor that, that people should likely consider is, is proximity. So, I mean, if this is a crime that's happened 25 years ago, it probably should be looked at a little bit differently than something that's happened 25 weeks ago. Obviously if someone has a criminal record that dates back 25 years and they've gone 25 years without another crime, then they learn their lesson and will probably wind up being a fine employee. And, you know, they've, they've reformed and criminals do reform to the best of my knowledge.

Kathleen Jennings (19:30):
And and I absolutely agree, Thom, and sometimes, especially when folks are young, they get themselves into situations and get themselves into trouble, and they learn from that experience and don't repeat it as they get older. So absolutely the, the proximity of the, the crime and the conviction to the date of the application and, and how long this person has gone without getting into any trouble. Yeah, absolutely. And, and what other things have they done since that time? I mean, you u HR folks know what you're looking for. You're looking for a steady job history and things like that. Also, before we move on to the next part of this criminal topic I just wanna remind everybody to, when you conduct your criminal background checks, make sure you follow federal law, which is the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act has requirements for how, what kind of permissions you need to ask for a criminal background check and what kind of notifications you have to give after the fact if something disqualifying comes up. And then also be aware of your state and local laws as to how and when you can conduct criminal background checks.

Thomas Jennings (20:48):
Yeah, and again, going back to the, the, the name of the show, the theme of the show, covering your assets, you could set yourself up in a situation where you could be sued for doing something wrong when you're simply trying to protect your organization and do things right. So yeah, if you're gonna run a criminal background, check any of those types of things, make sure you're doing it right. Make sure you're getting those, those permissions and that you're keeping a record of those permissions.

Kathleen Jennings (21:12):
Absolutely. And then finally, as we always emphasize in all of these shows, be consistent in the way that you treat folks when you get knowledge that they have some kind of criminal history. So if you have two people who both have a conviction for misdemeanor marijuana possession, one of them's white, one of them's black, you decide to hire the white person and tell the black person that they are not hired because they have that criminal conviction, you are looking at a discrimination claim. So be consistent in the way that you treat crimes that are the same. And, and, you know, that means that some crimes are not comparable, but when they are, be consistent and be fair in the way that you treat folks with those convictions. Well,

Thomas Jennings (22:01):
Here's a question I have for you though along those lines, I mean, I mean, are you required to tell an employee why you don't hire them? I mean, if you're not hiring them because of something in the criminal background check, you're not under any obligation to say, oh, we didn't hire you because of something we found in your criminal background check

Kathleen Jennings (22:17):
Are the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires whoever asks for a background check to give notice to the person if something that comes up in that background check disqualifies them from employment.

Thomas Jennings (22:32):
Well, I'm glad I asked. I'm glad I asked that question because Yes. Wow. See, I didn't know that. I would've thought that Yeah, you could just not say anything. So you think you teach me something every day?

Kathleen Jennings (22:41):
I try. I try, bro

Thomas Jennings (22:43):
<Laugh>. So I, you know, I hope, I honestly, I hope out there people are taking notes and, and, and because this really is a, a very, very serious thing. And it's, it's, it's coming, it's coming to different states and there's a lot of good material out there in terms of what specific state and local laws are. Just make sure that you're looking at looking at them. And then this also pertains to not only criminal records, but financial wrecks as well. So there are some employers that will request a credit check, and I would assume this is, that pertains more to the financial services industry. But I mean, I've had, I've had a number of positions where I had to give permission for credit check that have stuff that I've done that I wasn't handling any money at all. So but so the law does protect people in terms of what's found on a credit report as well. What's, what's the difference or maybe the nuances between how the Ban the box laws would be applied for credit checks as opposed to the criminal background?

Kathleen Jennings (23:47):
Well, the Ban the Box laws applied to the criminal background checks. So I think what you're trying to distinguish is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is really addresses the process by which an employer can ask for criminal history. So there's, you know, you have to give certain notices, you have to obtain consent from the employee, and then you have to give notices after the fact if something comes up in that credit history, which includes a criminal background check that disqualifies the employee. And, you know, for, for credit checks, it's more likely that, you know, you give the notice of disqualifying information because somebody may have something wrong on their credit history. And maybe there's something wrong on somebody's criminal history too, if, if a conviction, if there's another Thomas Jennings out there who might have been convicted of something that you weren't, and somehow your records got mixed up. You wanna know about that?

Thomas Jennings (24:52):
I, I got two stories for that. Two, not just one, but two. Okay.

Kathleen Jennings (24:56):
Two. Unbelievable. Go for it.

Thomas Jennings (24:58):
One, I was I, I had a judgment on my, and it was my son's who had the same name and same address. So yes, that was a pain in the neck to deal with. And that came up on a, on a credit report but on a criminal background check. Yes. it did turn out that someone had stolen my social security number and was indeed in jail in Texas. So someone ran my criminal history and they came up with this crime, and thankfully it showed that I was in jail in Texas, which was a bit of a red flag. And then they determined that it was somebody else's name. But yes, at first it was like, oh, something came up on your criminal background check. I'm like, what? And then they're like, well, you know, we think something's wrong cuz there's somebody in Texas. I was, and I knew who it was that stole my social security. No. And that, that took years to, to deal with. But anyhow, I digress.

Kathleen Jennings (25:47):
See, I I, I think it's beautiful that I come up with these examples and then you show that they are, I live them. In fact, you live them <laugh>. Yeah. That's, that's why this podcast is so successful.

Thomas Jennings (25:59):
I live them. Yes, yes. And we are, we are a study in nature versus nurture cuz you know, look at you hardly getting in any trouble at all. Me, I'm just, I'm just like Forrest Gump. I'm walking into situations every other day.

Kathleen Jennings (26:11):
Well that's what makes you an interesting guy,Thom

Thomas Jennings (26:13):
<Laugh>. What I, you're very interesting too without any of those crazy stories. So one term I want to throw at you and then we'll, we'll wrap this thing up cuz I found it in that blog post in re as it pertained to the credit history and it said credit history background checks can be lumped under disparate impact discrimination. Have you heard of this? Did I even pronounce it? But it says it could have a negative impact specifically on women in minority.

Kathleen Jennings (26:42):
Well, there's I mean, we can do a whole episode on types of discrimination, but you have your dis let's do it <laugh>. We'll do it. But you have your disparate impact. You have your disparate treatment, and basically the disparate impact means that the, it there is a pattern of discrimination that adversely impacts certain protected groups of people.

Thomas Jennings (27:06):
Yeah. Which makes, I mean, and that, boy, you look at American history, you know, some of the things that they did to make it so that certain groups wouldn't vote or, you know, they could, they put rules and regulations that target specific groups. So you gotta be careful. We're in a world where that kind of stuff is no bueno for the most part.

Kathleen Jennings (27:21):
No bueno. Yes. And, and here we are being bilingual. And then I think the final distinction we wanna make, or we wanna make sure everybody understands is the distinction between an arrest and a conviction. Yeah. And under our legal system when you are arrested, you are still presumed to be not guilty or innocent. You are not guilty of a crime until you are convicted of a crime. So if somebody who's working for you gets arrested for a crime, then you have to assess the circumstances of that particular person and, and make a decision as to how to handle whether you wanna keep them in your workplace, whether you wanna put 'em on some sort of leave with or without pay or something until the criminal charges are resolved. But keep in mind, until they're convicted, they're not truly a criminal. But you also have to weigh the risk again, to your employees your customers, the public, if this, you need to assess the circumstances of the arrest to make that decision as to whether you wanna keep them in the workplace.

Thomas Jennings (28:36):
And, and I, I would imagine that, that a part of that could just be having an open dialogue with the person as well. I mean, they may you, I mean, sometimes you just gotta confront it and who knows, maybe the the employee will not want to make the situation any worse. Maybe they'll resign or whatever. Or if you give them an opportunity or give them an out, that would be good. But yeah, it's not something that, that you could ignore. And just because you're not convicted of a crime, I mean, it goes back to like we were talking about. So if, if I'm arrested for possession of child pornography, I happen to work with children every day. So I'm assuming, I'm not assuming, oops, I hit the microphone, the microphone's assuming, I'm assuming that my employer is well within their rights to suspend me. And then if there's, I, I would imagine maybe they could do an internal investigation. And if it turns out that there's any validity to the claims, then I'm terminated.

Kathleen Jennings (29:31):
Absolutely. The employer doesn't have to wait until somebody is, is found guilty of a crime to make a decision as to whether to keep them as an employee, employee. I think it's important to first get the employee side of the story Yep. Once they've been arrested, find out what happened, but then also do an independent investigation, perhaps talk to law enforcement or even if there are witnesses to the crime or alleged crime, find out more information and then make a decision as to whether this employee poses a risk to, to you, to your employees, to the public. Because if they do and something bad happens, you're gonna get sued and the liability could be pretty serious. Oh

Thomas Jennings (30:19):
Yeah. All right. Well, great episode. Ban the box. Yep.

Kathleen Jennings (30:22):
Ban the box.

Thomas Jennings (30:23):

Kathleen Jennings (30:24):
Takeaways know your state, local and even federal laws with regard, but particularly state local laws with regard to when and how you can ask for criminal history of your applicants. And once you get that history, make sure that you consider it in relationship to the type of job that the person is being asked to perform and the type of industry that they're working in, the type of interaction they have with the public. All those various factors. Don't just have a blanket policy that we will not allow anybody who's ever been convicted of a crime to work for us. I mean, you can have that policy if you want to, you'll probably screen out some good folks. Yep. So it's probably better to consider each situation on its own merits.

Thomas Jennings (31:18):
Yeah, no, I agree. I I couldn't have said it better myself. I mean, it really comes down to the fact that there could be a situation where someone with a criminal history is the better candidate and, but you know, conversely, you're not obligated to hire somebody because they have a criminal history and you feel bad because they have it rough in society or whatever. I mean, it's really, again, this is really just something I think that, that it's being put in place so that at least the applicants can get a little further in the process and make their case. Because if you don't interview an employee, I mean, how do you know? You know what I mean? I mean, if nothing else you interview the employee, maybe there's a connection. Maybe you, you hear something in the interview that makes you realize that they're a good candidate and it's a win-win for both people.

Thomas Jennings (31:59):
And maybe it's a win-win for the employer too on the other end where it, there maybe employers aren't taking the time to do criminal background checks, because let's face it, you don't even necessarily have to check on the box if you have a criminal history. And I mean, you know what I mean? Like, I mean, you may just not check it, even if you do have a criminal history because you are afraid that you're not gonna be able to go any further with Seth. So, you know, it's, it is what it is, as I like to

Kathleen Jennings (32:25):
Say. It is, it's what it's speaking

Thomas Jennings (32:27):
Of, what it is, what it is. Your contact information. Should anybody want more information,

Kathleen Jennings (32:33):
People can reach out to me at my email, which is kj j whim Or you can even visit the cover your assets blog page if you wanna leave a comment or leave a comment on our podcast page. Right.

Thomas Jennings (32:50):
And if you work for Paycor in the marketing department, call me. Come on. I'll give you my kind. It's in there somewhere I wanna sponsor. I really do. And if you're not gonna sponsor us, anybody out there, just give us a nice review, share it. Tell us what we're doing. Good. Tell us what we're doing bad. I know you, you just gave me a look. Like we don't do anything bad. I

Kathleen Jennings (33:07):
Gotta agree with you. That's

Thomas Jennings (33:08):
Right. Because we are, we did earn the title the best.

Kathleen Jennings (33:12):
Exactly. All right. Exactly. I'm,

Thomas Jennings (33:14):
I'm throwing it to you. Do the, do the sign off, sis. It's, it's all on you today.

Kathleen Jennings (33:18):
Wow. Well, thanks bro. Well, everybody, thanks for listening. We appreciate your feedback, your comments, your suggestions, especially suggestions for future topics that you'd like for us to talk about. So until next time, I am Kathleen Jennings, your resident expert here with the resident producer and jack of all trades. Thomas Jennings. Thank you for listening to cover your Assets.

Podcast Disclaimer

The Cover Your Assets-The Labor and Employment Law Podcast is produced by Thom Jennings of the Caronia Media Group. For more details, you can contact him at

The information provided in this podcast is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this podcast or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Kathleen J. Jennings. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual hosts and guests.

Kathleen J. Jennings
Former Principal

Kathleen J. Jennings is a former principal in the Atlanta office of Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider, & Stine, P.C. She defends employers in employment matters, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, Wage and Hour, OSHA, restrictive covenants, and other employment litigation and provides training and counseling to employers in employment matters.

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