Durham has already “banned the box” as the saying goes. And now the liberals in Carrboro have joined in. Carrboro aldermen have voted to stop asking applicants for town jobs if they’ve been convicted of a felony. Town officials have done this despite the fact that town human resources official Desiree White says it may well add time — and time is money of course – to the hiring process.
“If an applicant has been convicted of embezzlement, and applied for a position in the finance department, we may not want to consider that applicant for a position in finance,” says White. “If we found that out sooner, then we would have that information, as opposed to taking the applicant all the way through the application process and doing the background check at that point.
This is a short sighted policy designed to simply allow officials to claim they are being “fair” to all. Applicants for a job should be evaluated based on their history and background and qualifications — and a felony conviction is one of those data points. To prohibit town officials from knowing that information up front is akin to prohibiting officials from knowing a person’s education or technical training and experience up front.