Monday, December 8, 2014

We Don’t Hire Convicted Felons!

Scanning media for great examples of what to do or what not to do, a great blog came across my desk the other day and frankly it was worth a read and then a second read.  One of my clients proudly stated at a meeting where I was hired as their keynote speaker, “We don’t hire convicted felons.”  Hum…well here’s a link to the original blog – “Does Your Hiring Policy Exclude Ex-Con’s?  Watch Out!”  Perhaps you, too, will be interested in this eye opening blog post!
Convicted FelonWhat caught my attention is the content related to new EEOC guidelines regarding the use of criminal background data in employment decisions.  This material is important and worth the time to read.  It is reprinted in it’s entirety below.
This is a guest post by Joseph H. Harris, Partner, White Harris PLLC.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a new set of guidelines concerning the use of criminal background information in employment decisions. The guidelines should serve as a reminder to employers, and their attorneys, that they cannot automatically exclude from consideration all job applicants with criminal records. That includes applicants with felony convictions.
To be clear, the EEOC does not require employers to ignore criminal background information. However, it does restrict the manner in which employers may use that information to exclude an individual from employment. Employers who fail to abide by the EEOC’s new guidelines could find themselves charged with disparate impact discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even if the policy is applied uniformly to all applicants regardless of their race, age, gender, or other legally protected characteristic. One company recently settled a case with the EEOC for $31 million for its policy which automatically excluded anyone with a criminal record from employment. In addition, in its recently released Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan, the EEOC listed recruiting and hiring discrimination as its top priority.
  • Arrests. A prior arrest cannot, in and of itself, serve as the basis for excluding an individual from employment. Under the law, we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, employers may consider the underlying facts of the arrest. If those underlying facts bear directly on the job in question, then excluding the individual would be permissible.
  • Convictions. Employers may not maintain blanket policies making a prior conviction, even for a felony, the basis for automatically denying employment. Employers may, however, adopt narrowly tailored policies stating that certain specific jobs cannot be held by individuals with criminal convictions for particular offenses. For such a policy to be in keeping with the EEOC’s guidelines, it must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. In other words, there must be a link between the “specific criminal conduct, and its dangers, with the risks inherent in the duties of a particular position.” To meet that standard, employers have two options. They can use empirical data to establish that link (an expensive and time consuming task). Or, they can establish a targeted screen by considering the following three factors: the nature and gravity of the crime that would serve as the basis for exclusion, the amount of time that has passed since the crime was committed or the sentence completed, and the nature of the job at issue. In addition, employers are strongly encouraged to engage in an individualized assessment to determine whether the exclusionary policy should apply. As part of that assessment, the employer should notify the individual that he or she has been excluded because of a criminal conviction and give the individual an opportunity to demonstrate why the exclusionary policy should not apply due to the particular facts and circumstances of the case. The employer should then consider whether the information provided by the excluded person warrants an exception to the policy.
The EEOC has provided the following list of factors that employers should consider to ensure that their exclusionary policy and screening process is consistent with the new guidelines. “The facts or circumstances surrounding the offense or conduct; [t]he number of offenses for which the individual was convicted; [o]lder age at the time of conviction, or release from prison; [e]vidence that the individual performed the same type of work, post conviction, with the same or a different employer, with no known incidents of criminal conduct; [t]he length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct; [r]ehabilitation efforts, e.g., education/training; [e]mployment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position; and [w]hether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program.”
A word of caution for employers: It is the EEOC’s position that Title VII preempts state laws that require the automatic exclusion from employment of individuals convicted of certain offenses. This puts employers in a difficult position and may present them with an impossible choice: Abide by state law and exclude an applicant with a criminal record, but face the possibility of EEOC charge for violating federal anti-discrimination laws, or follow the EEOC’s guidelines, hire the individual because the targeted screen and individualized assessment does not warrant an automatic exclusion, and face liability for violating state laws.
About the author: White Harris PLLC practices exclusively in the area of labor and employment law, representing management. The firm counsels businesses on how to comply with local, state, and federal employment laws and represents them in court, before government agencies, and in alternative forums such as arbitration and mediation. For more information, visit
Mr. Harris is an alumnus of Oxford University and a graduate of Haverford College and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He is admitted to practice in the state of New York and in the federal courts in the Southern and Eastern districts of New York. He is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
WOW…at some level this is a game changer!  As a convicted felon, I understand the challenges that many face with seeking employment.  I have, in fact, been denied more than one job because of my criminal background (guilty of embezzlement and tax evasion for a crime in 1986/87).
Today I work with multinational companies primarily in ethics and fraud prevention, but it would appear that another prospective challenge might be how firms deal with this EEOC change.

Obama’s EEOC: We’ll Sue You If You Don’t Hire Convicted Felons

Obama’s EEOC: We’ll Sue You If You Don’t Hire Criminals Friday, 15 Feb 2013 10:52 AM By Jim Meyers The Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it should be a federal crime to refuse to hire ex-convicts — and threatens to sue businesses that don’t employ criminals. In April the EEOC unveiled its “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records,” which declares that “criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin.” The impetus for this “guidance” is that black men are nearly seven times more likely than white men to serve time in prison, and therefore refusals to hire convicts disproportionally impact blacks, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by James Bovard, a libertarian author and lecturer whose books include “Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen.” Most businesses perform background checks on potential employees, but the EEOC frowns on these checks and “creates legal tripwires that could spark federal lawsuits,” Bovard observes. An EEOC commissioner who opposed the new policy, Constance Baker, said in April that the new guidelines will scare businesses from conducting background checks. Reason: If a check does disclose a criminal offense, the EEOC expects a firm to do an “individual assessment” that will have to prove that the company has a “business necessity” not to hire the ex-convict. If the firm does not do the intricate assessment, it could be found guilty of “race discrimination” if it hires a law-abiding applicant over one with convictions. Bovard points out that the “biggest bombshell” in the new guidelines is that businesses complying with state or local laws requiring background checks can still be sued by the EEOC. That came to light when the EEOC took action against G4S Secure Solutions, which provides guards for nuclear power plants and other sensitive sites, for refusing to hire a twice-convicted thief as a security guard — even though Pennsylvania state law forbids hiring people with felony convictions as security officers. Bovard quotes Todd McCracken of the National Small Business Association: “State and federal courts will allow potentially devastating tort lawsuits against businesses that hire felons who commit crimes at the workplace or in customers’ homes. Yet the EEOC is threatening to launch lawsuits if they do not hire those same felons.” Bovard concludes: “Americans can treat ex-offenders humanely without giving them legal advantages over similar individuals without criminal records.”

Monday, December 1, 2014

Michael Brown’s Mother Could Face Felony Theft Charges: Report  

Leslie McSpadden has been accused by her ex mother-in-law of leading a mob to rob her.  
Lesley McSpadden (center), the mother of slain teenager Michael Brown, arrives for a press conference with the Rev. Al Sharpton (left) Aug. 12, 2014, in St. Louis.  
As the nation waits for possible charges to be brought against Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Brown’s mother may be facing charges of her own.
Leslie McSpadden has been accused of leading others to attack and steal money from a group selling “Justice for Mike Brown” merchandise. If charged, McSpadden could face felony armed-robbery charges, reports the New York Daily News.
One of the people included in the group that was attacked was McSpadden’s former mother-in-law, Pearlie Gordon. Gordon claims that she was knocked down by the group that McSpadden led. In total, roughly $2,000 in merchandise and cash was taken by the group.
“You can’t sell this s--t,” Gordon claims McSpadden told her during the altercation.
The Ferguson, Mo., Police Department is currently investigating these claims and will then decide whether to bring charges against McSpadden.
Read more at the New York Daily News.
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Felon's Gun Rights Restored

OMG! 666 GA Felons’ Gun Rights Restored! OMG!

Georgia prison (courtesy
“Everyone deserves an opportunity for a second chance,” Gale Buckner told The former Georgia state parole board chairwoman was defending her employer’s decision to restore the gun rights of more than 1400 Peach State felons in recent years, 666 (mark of the beast!) in 2013 says 358 of those felons were convicted of violent crimes (including 32 homicides), 166 went down for drug-related crimes and an unspecified number were incarcerated for crimes against children. To qualify for rights restoration, an applicant must maintain a clean record for five years after release and provide three references. Successful applicants’ criminal records are not expunged. As you can imagine, the antis will seize on the info as proof that “guns everywhere” Georgia is a pistol-packing pariah amongst “civilized” gun control states. I say good for them.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Job Opportunity For Felons

Find out how felons are taking matters into their own hands by becoming their own bosses and creating jobs! Tired of being denied employment for past felony convictions? In today's economy no one can stand to not work. Everybody deserves a second chance at life, but unfortunately employers do not always agree. With today's technology many people are turning to the Internet for money. Be aware that when dealing with Internet businesses there are scams out there. But, be advised that there are many legit opportunities out there that people are making a living off of as you read this article. So, with that being said I took the time to search and research many off the Internet businesses available. I took in consideration the start up cost, time investment, as well as many other factors. After months and months of research I found Instant Rewards Network. For less than $10.00 start up cost and a minimum of 2 hours a day people are making a decent income. Others who spend more time promoting their business where able to make a living off this. Many who where employed before trying
 where able to quit their day job and focus on their own business. In some cases people have reported making $600 a day! Others reported making anywhere from $40 - $100 a day.

If you are out of work, tired of your dead end job, looking for a profitable business opportunity, or just need extra income then
 is definitely the route to go. Think about it! Who wouldn't spend $10 for a opportunity to make $40 - $600 a day? If interested click on the following link below. Best wishes to you and your family on your journey to financial freedom.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Know Your Rights: What To Do If You're Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI

Know Your Rights: What To Do If You're Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI

ejw_marquee.jpgKnow Your Rights: What To Do If You're Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI
We rely on the police to keep us safe and treat us all fairly, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. This card provides tips for interacting with police and understanding your rights.

Note: Some state laws may vary. Separate rules apply at checkpoints and when entering the U.S. (including at airports).
- You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
- You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
- If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
- You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
- Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
- Do stay calm and be polite.
- Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
- Do not lie or give false documents.
- Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
- Do remember the details of the encounter.
- Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated.


Your support helps the ACLU defend immigrants’ rights and other civil liberties.

If You Are

Stay calm. Don't run. Don't argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where police can see them.
Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.
You have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for refusing to answer questions. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud. In some states, you must give your name if asked to identify yourself.
You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may "pat down" your clothing if they suspect a weapon. You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search. If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.

Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel.
Upon request, show police your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.
If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.
Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.

You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country. (Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and for individuals on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers.)
If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you.If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.

If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.

If an FBI agent comes to your home or workplace, you do not have to answer any questions. Tell the agent you want to speak to a lawyer first.
If you are asked to meet with FBI agents for an interview, you have the right to say you do not want to be interviewed. If you agree to an interview, have a lawyer present. You do not have to answer any questions you feel uncomfortable answering, and can say that you will only answer questions on a specific topic.

Do not resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair.
Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don't give any explanations or excuses. If you can't pay for a lawyer, you have the right to a free one. Don't say anything, sign anything or make any decisions without a lawyer.
You have the right to make a local phone call. The police cannot listen if you call a lawyer.
Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested. Memorize the phone numbers of your family and your lawyer. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication.
Special considerations for non-citizens:
- Ask your lawyer about the effect of a criminal conviction or plea on your immigration status.
- Don't discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
- While you are in jail, an immigration agent may visit you. Do not answer questions or sign anything before talking to a lawyer.
- Read all papers fully. If you do not understand or cannot read the papers, tell the officer you need an interpreter.

You have the right to a lawyer, but the government does not have to provide one for you. If you do not have a lawyer, ask for a list of free or low-cost legal services.
You have the right to contact your consulate or have an officer inform the consulate of your arrest.
Tell the ICE agent you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
Do not sign anything, such as a voluntary departure or stipulated removal, without talking to a lawyer. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to try to stay in the U.S.
Remember your immigration number ("A" number) and give it to your family. It will help family members locate you.
Keep a copy of your immigration documents with someone you trust.

Remember: police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street.Don't physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint.
Write down everything you remember, including officers' badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details. Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries (but seek medical attention first).
File a written complaint with the agency's internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can file a complaint anonymously if you wish.
Call your local ACLU or visit

This information is not intended as legal advice.
Produced by the American Civil Liberties Union 6/2010