3/14/14

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished When Hiring Convicted Criminals

Related Practices

Attorneys & Professionals

Jackie Ford, a partner in the Vorys Houston and Columbus offices, authored an article for the Houston Business Journal titled “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished When Hiring Convicted Criminals.”  In the article, Ford outlines a new law in Texas that attempts to balance employers’ liability concerns with society’s interest in getting criminals out of crime and into legitimate employment.

The article states:

“The idea was simple: protect employers from claims related to a criminal’s past, and you incentivize the hiring of those same criminals. Unfortunately for Texas employers, a long list of exceptions to the bill renders it nearly useless.

The law still allows conviction-based claims to proceed against employers if their employees had committed certain types of aggravated felonies, like robbery, burglary, sexual assault and murder. The message appears to be: Feel free to hire the former pot smoker or petty thief, but let’s keep the burglars, brawlers and sex offenders permanently unemployed.

To make matters more complicated for employers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission believes that broad-based refusals to hire former criminals may violate federal civil rights laws.”

To read the entire article, visit the Houston Business Journal website.