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93 Wash. U. L. Rev. 45 (2015-2016)
When Any Sentence Is a Life Sentence: Employment Discrimination against Ex-Offenders

handle is hein.journals/walq93 and id is 53 raw text is: 


                     DALLAN F. FLAKE*


   For the sixty-five million Americans with a criminal record, it is
cruelly ironic that perhaps the most important resource for turning
their lives around-employment-is also often the most elusive. Shut
out from legitimate job opportunities, many ex-offenders resort to
illegal means of survival that hasten their return to prison.
Recidivism has devastating consequences not only for the individual
offender, but also the family, the community, and society at large.
This article proposes three amendments to Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 that seek to balance ex-offenders' need for
employment with employers' safety concerns. First, employers
should be prohibited from discriminating against an ex-offender
whose criminal record is not directly related to the job in question
or who does not pose an unreasonable threat to property or to the
safety of others. Second, employer inquiries about an applicant's
criminal record should be delayed until after at least one job
interview. Third, a negligent hiring provision should be added to
Title VII that creates a rebuttable presumption against negligence
and that caps damages in certain cases. These measures represent a
sensible,  middle-of-the-road  approach  that promotes  the
employment of ex-offenders in appropriate cases, while ensuring
that neither employers nor the public are unduly burdened as a

    * Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology, Brigham Young University; J.D., University of
Michigan Law School; B.S. and M.S., Brigham Young University.

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