Skip to comments.Target Removing Criminal History Section from Job Applications
Posted on 11/04/2013 8:19:16 AM PST by YourAdHere
Individuals seeking employment with the Target Corporation will soon notice a change in the companys job applications.
The Minneapolis-based company recently announced that they will no longer question applicants about their criminal history. The company said it expects to remove the question from applications nationwide in the coming year.
According to the National Employment Law Project, the decision was based on a new Minnesota law and the efforts of grassroots organizations that have been pressuring the company to change their standards.
Target is finally doing the right thing by reforming its hiring policies so that qualified job applicants arent automatically screened out simply because they have an arrest or conviction from the past, Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, said in a statement. Other large retailers around the nation need to follow suit, because their hiring policies send a strong message about whether they are committed to the communities that support their business.
Applications for public sector jobs in the state have been barred from asking applicants about their criminal history. In May, Governor Mark Dayton increased the reach of the law by requiring private companies to follow the rule as well.
According to the Minnesota Department of Human rights, employers will still have the authority and legal obligation to turn away criminals with certain records, including sexual offenses.
According to the National Employment Law Project, more than 10 states and 50 cities have all fallen in line with the Ban the Box movement, requiring that employers eliminate the box all applicnants are asked to check if they have served time in prison.
I think this is an excellent choice and for the organization itself, this speaks volumes as to how they are considering the people they want to hire, said Walter Lomax, project director for the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative.
It is challenging whether its someone returning from a long-term or short-term incarceration. A criminal record is a hold-back for folks who have found themselves involved with the justice system, he added. Were not saying that at some point an employee shouldnt learn something about their employees criminal background. What we are saying is that they need to at least be given an opportunity for an interview. Then they can explain the circumstances of their incarceration.
Lomax has taken up many causes related to citizens returning to the populace from incarceration. In addition to efforts to allow ex-convicts to serve on trial juries, Lomax has dealt with many returning citizens and their difficulties finding employment.
I had one case where a man filled out 10 applications and every one asked [whether he had] a criminal record. He wasnt called back for a single one of them, he said. The reality is that he has to check that box because if he doesnt and they find out, he will be fired. It will be assumed that he is untruthful. It definitely adds a level of anxiety.
Actually, on this one narrow point, she tells the truth. Arrests are public knowledge too, and can (and have personally) disqualified.
1. An arrest does not a criminal make. It’s that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing. Often, charges are dismissed, there’s no indictment etc. So there’s no point in asking about arrests.
2. Convictions are a different kettle of fish. But the person may have been convicted of something incredbily minor with no moral turpitude (e.g. underage possession of alcohol) or of an offense that is no longer a crime in some states (e.g. minor possession of marijuana).
3. Just because it can’t or won’t ask on a job application doesn’t mean it can’t still check (with the Internet, it’s super easy).
Of course in this modern internet world where you can look up anybody’s arrest record for free who needs to put it on the app? Just have your HR bookmark a couple of site and plug all applicants into these search. Really at this point all you need from an applicant is their name and socsec, anything else you want to know about them you can get on your own in less time.
Well put. I might differ partially on the “felons shouldn’t vote” part. I would qualify that with “if it’s a violent felony or you were caught with a weapon, then you lose your right to vote.”
Good Lord. I work at Target in healthcare. Their sales aren’t exactly strong right now ...so many dumb moves ...I hate it.
Of course their prices will have to increase to cover all the theft by employees.
Because, they are lining themselves up to hire some very accomplished thieves... and worse.
Target is absolute junk anyway, but they’ll have to pad the bill for everyone else!!
The problem with hiring felons, knowingly or unknowingly(you should have asked) is the fact that the employer becomes a sitting duck for lawsuits should that employee commit another crime. Trial lawyers use it as a stick to beat you with regardless of any and all circumstances. You become ‘partially responsible’ and if you happen to be the only party with deep pockets who get to pay the entire judgment. Sure, the check can be moved to after an initial interview, which has a cost associated, and disqualify the candidate later, but for how long? The purpose of these advocacy groups is to make it illegal to refuse to hire based on criminal record without any concomitant immunity from lawsuits. Lawyers will get to sue for ‘civil’ rights’ violations on the front end and damages on the back end: sweet.
Actually I think I agree with this to a degree. I think a company should only go back say... 7-10 years on convictions.
I worked in HR for a company that paid very well so all the locals wanted to work there. They typically had to work as temp laborers, pass drug tests and background.
One guy worked as a temp for awhile - and I don’t know why it took so long to get the info but he’d worked there a week or two before they found out he had a selling marijuana conviction. I overheard him talking to the HR manager who was in the process of firing him, he said “when will I ever be able to put this behind me? It’s been over 20 years and it still haunts me and keeps me from getting a good paying job”.
Course, that would be drug convictions, not sure how I’d feel about rape, crimes of pedophilia, maybe go back forever on them.
If Target’s sales are weak, it’s because Wally World is perceived as undercutting them in prices. Their electronics and sporting goods lines are lousy, too, by the way. Nothing to do with whether or not they ask for arrests or convictions for their new hires.
Applicants will still be investigate. They just won’t be asked to lie about it.
I agree, perhaps a violent crime but say you sold marijuana 20 years ago, does that mean you should have no right to vote today?
Awesome. The losses will multiply as the morons running that company continue to hire thugs and crooks. Eventually it will collapse and someone responsible will take over.
The Target stores in my area, once much nicer than Wal-Mart, have been turning ghetto.
Not to mention the number of innocent people convicted because they could only afford public pretenders.
It’s getting to the point that we are all criminals in the eyes of those who want to rule over a subservient people.
Salvation Army at Walmart, in my part of Florida, during Christmas
That has to be there for all who work with children.
I might try that next Halloween, be Santa and give away candy to people. lol.
What does it matter?
Theft, burglary, breaking and entering, shop-lifting.....It’s OKAY now. Obama has your back.