A majority of consumers polled support the idea of buying from businesses that employ workers with nonviolent criminal records, according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute.
The survey revealed that almost four in five Americans (78%) will buy goods and services from businesses where a customer-facing employee has a nonviolent criminal record.
More than one-half of those surveyed (55%) feel comfortable buying goods or services from businesses if a customer-facing employee has spent five or more years in prison.
Three in four consumers (75%) feel comfortable if the business they are buying goods or services from is known to give those who have a criminal record a second chance by giving them a job.
“This new data should give employers a renewed sense of confidence to hire qualified candidates with criminal records,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM president.
“With HR professionals, hiring managers and now customers all embracing the idea of giving these people a second chance, the country is primed for getting talent back to work.”
Support falls when it comes to those convicted of violent offenses. Less than one-third (31%) said they feel comfortable buying goods or services from businesses where a customer-facing employee has a violent criminal record and 63 % said this would make them uncomfortable.
Among workers, the results are similar: 74% feel comfortable working for an employer if a few of their colleagues have nonviolent criminal records, but only 33% feel the same way if the colleagues in question have violent criminal records.
While 76% said they are comfortable working for an employer that is known to hire those with a criminal record, 59% said they feel comfortable working for an employer with a strict hiring policy that excludes anyone with a criminal record.
Gig Workers Are Held Contractors
The U.S. Department of Labor has determined that free-lance workers in the gig economy are independent contractors for purposes of federal minimum wage and overtime regulation.
“While not a magic bullet, this development is a welcome one – and a preview as to how today’s DOL should frame the question in investigations,” observes attorney Caroline J. Brown of the law firm of Fisher Phillips.
“We can also hope that a court will look to this letter and recognize the same longstanding principles in litigation matters.”
However, DOL’s opinion letter is limited to federal wage law and is not expected to apply in jurisdictions – like California Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Jersey – where a different test, such as the ABC test, applies to determine whether someone is an independent contractor.
In the opinion letter issued by DOL on April 29, it applied the a six-factor balancing test derived from Supreme Court precedent, to determine whether an employment relationship existed between the workers and the entity using their services.
DOL found that gig work qualifies under all six tests, but the crux of the decision is the amount of control exerted over the worker.
This control does not exist as long as the business does not impose duties on workers, such as strict shifts, large quotas or long hours. The workers have the right to work simultaneously for competitors, and routinely do so in order to maximize their profit (picking the best opportunity on a job-by-job basis).
Other tests include the permanency of the relationship, workers’ purchase of all necessary resources for their work, and whether they are not integrated into the company’s business.
Hiring Picture Good for Grads
At least 83% of senior managers are likely to hire new college graduates, according to a recent survey conducted by the Robert Half staffing firm.
When managers were asked how likely it is that they will hire new college graduates, 41% said very likely and 42% said somewhat likely. About 13% responded they are somewhat unlikely and 5% were very unlikely.
“Job prospects are bright for the class of 2019,” comments Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half.
Employers are open to bringing on entry-level job candidates straight out of college,” he adds. “First- time job seekers, who are often digital natives, can increase their marketability by displaying their technology experience, positive energy and a willingness to learn.”
Senior managers at companies with at least 500 employees are more likely to hire new college graduates than are those at smaller companies.
The top 10 cities with employers most inclined to hire grads include Miami, Raleigh, N.C., Austin, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Nashville, Charlotte, Houston, Des Moines and Cleveland.
Because the candidate market is tight, employers are more open to hiring and training employees who lack the required skills. In a separate Robert Half survey, seven out of 10 employers said they would consider hiring and training candidates who lack the all of skills they require.
McDonald notes, “Companies interested in hiring new college graduates should highlight what makes their firm a great place to work on their website, in job descriptions and when meeting with applicants. A thoughtful and thorough onboarding process is essential for then getting entry-level talent off on the right foot.”