December 21, 2006

Some Prose about ex-Cons and ‘Employment Discrimination,’ and How It Relates to Marion Barry

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:15 pm

NOTE: This post has been carried to the top for the remainder of the day because of the seriousness of the issue (never mind the lack of seriousness of the main person advocating it).
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Some posts almost write themselves. This is one of those.

Amy Ridenour put up a post about the City Council of the District of Columbia revising its anti-discrimination laws to make ex-convicts a protected class (law text, in PDF, is here).

Among other things, the law will:

….. prohibit employment discrimination based upon a status of previous incarceration, where the criminal record is unrelated to the job held or position sought and where there is evidence of rehabilitation; to prohibit an employer, employment agency, or labor organization from denying employment or membership based upon previous incarceration status where the criminal record is unrelated to the position sought or applied for and where there is evidence of rehabilitation.

Anyone can see from the above language that this really ought to be called “The Full Employment for Employment Attorneys in DC Act.”

Another suggested name might be the “Full Employment of former DC Mayor and now DC Councilman Marion Barry Act,” given the latest news on him:

Marion Barry said that he is talking to his lawyers and thinking about suing the D.C. government and the U.S. Park Police after he was stopped, arrested and then released this past Saturday.

Barry said the officers asked him for his license and registration and then said that his license was suspended.

Barry told NBC4 the suspension was a clerical mistake, and he accused the U.S. Park police of racial profiling.

Park Police said Barry’s license was in fact suspended, and that’s why he was arrested.

Barry was cuffed and taken to a park police station for processing.Barry said the incident took several hours to work out and he was humiliated and severely inconvenienced.

Poor, put-upon Marion Barry.

It gets better.

The sponsor of the “Human Rights for Ex-Offenders Amendment Act of 2006″ is ….. Marion Barry.

It seems to me that Mr. Barry is just making sure he’ll be able to get a job if/when he’s ever de-elected or term-limited from Council.

Fortunately, the District has (sort of) adult supervision from Congress. I would hope that the new Congress, particularly the committee overseeing the District, will disallow this (in all seriousness) very mischievous nonsense. With the change in party control, though, you never know.

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NOTE: Perhaps it’s because of the belief Congressional oversight would never allow a law like this to get through, but it should be noted that there has been no press coverage, other than in a subscription law journal (found by Amy) and in the Washington Examiner, of this potential quantum “leap” in employment discrimination “protection” (but not of the employer or other employees, obviously). This is very dangerous stuff, in more ways than one, and should not be allowed to take effect.

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