Unintended Consequences of More Background Screening Laws

When a city is “troubled by crime and high unemployment” should they vote to provide further protection for those with recent criminal history?  CA Civil code 1786 already limits the reporting of publicly available information about a person’s criminal history beyond 7 years, but a suburb of San Francisco is voting to take it a step further.

It seems we live in a land of unintended consequences and without foresight because I believe any further protection of those with criminal histories will make the situation worse.  For One, persons with criminal histories harbored by these laws flock to the safety zone, so their numbers rise not fall.  When crime rises the few people left with any means whatsoever flee.  The second unintended consequence is the small business expense trying to comply with yet another law while their insurance premiums rise because they have less protection to ensure their workplace is violence free or safe.  Third, A person contemplating committing crime may think…so what if I get caught.

Another unintended consequence is a thousand types of businesses will cry “foul” for the extra diligence they need  (like schools, day cares, gun shops, banks, nursing homes, etc).  They go into the exempt status so the State issues “licensing” and approval leaving the unfortunate rest of the industry “souls” blowing in the wind hoping they don’t pick up the next Charlie Manson on their payroll roster.  As companies exempted from these rules rise, a higher number of people with criminal histories apply to the non-exempted businesses.  And let’s face it, it’s a dangerous world out there.

These laws create the very real possibility for ex-cons to make money by suing businesses; The same businesses paying a payroll to hardworking employees. So aren’t we creating a new form of income for people choosing to commit crime taking away opportunities from honest working people?

Private Investigation companies are in an exempted industry class.  Everyone here needs to be fingerprinted and approved by the State.  It would be too dangerous to have ex-cons running investigation companies!  The people who are voting away the rights of companies to protect themselves likely work somewhere background checks are performed by the FBI for everyone walking through the door and they have an armed security guard (also background checked), BUT they have forgotten about the rest of the folks which deserve to know the truth about a person’s past so they can also protect themselves and not worry about working late in a sparsely occupied building at night.



3 Comments to “Unintended Consequences of More Background Screening Laws”

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    • Sharon Sutila // August 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm // Reply

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