The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Should Job Applications Ask About Non-Violent Felonies?

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Debate Round Forfeited
David_Debates has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 149 times Debate No: 94843
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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I'm from the state of Oklahoma, , I was wrongly convicted of a CDS charge less than 7 years ago , and this is considered a non-violent crime. I've applied at many jobs and get denied because of a bad background check, they go 7 years back. I have a child now that I struggle to support because these job applications-even at fast food places ask if you've been convicted of a felony. when most jobs see that you put "yes" they throw your application in the trash,no questions asked. It's considered discrimination to not give someone an equal opportunity to work when they haven't even had a fair interview to atleast explain themselves ,but it happens everyday! this is one of the main reasons why the unemployment rate is so high,not just in Oklahoma, but all over the US. This has to stop!!!! Most of the people in Oklahoma that have been convicted of a crime,have had a drug-related charge,and a large majority of the state are felons,which causes a repetitive cycle of selling druga,etc, simply because they have a hard time finding a job to support themselves and their families.The question should not say "have you ever been convicted of a felony", but instead should ask "Have you ever been convicted of a violent crime"? Violent crimes are classified but not limited to: Gun charges, rape, armed robbery, all degrees of burglary, assault charges, and even aggravated battery and theft,etc. These types of charges should be a concern in the workplace, but not non'violent crimes like mine. Everyone deserves a second chance, and should not have something so small and petty following them around for the rest of their lives. thank you


First, a rebuttal.

1) Personal testimony on how Con was not able to trade her labor because of a felony conviction.

Not relevant. Not to be rude, of course, but this is a major red herring. The question we have to ask is whether or not we should be able to force companies to overlook past convictions, not whether or not you were not hired by a company because you are a felon.

2) This is one of the main reasons why the unenployment rate is so high...

No evidence for your outlandish claim, that because felons are not able to trade labor, the unemployment rate is rising? I'd actually state that the unenployment rate is so high because the Government is basicaly paying people to stay poor.

3) Felons turn back to crime because no one accepts them in the workplace.

I'll rebut this point with a question:
Why have you not turned back to crime?

4) [violent crimes] should be a concern in the workplace, but not non-violent crimes like mine.

Who is to dictate what is to be a concern to a buisness? Would not DUI charges be a concern to a moving company? Would not a charge of selling illicit drugs be a concern to a baking company? Would not grand theft auto charges be a concern to a car manufacturer? Would not... well, you get the point. It is up to the buisness to decide what it is looking for in a worker, not up to the Government to force it. Trade should be made freely, not forced, wouldn't you agree, Con?

5) Everyone deserves a second chance.

Does everyone deserve a job?
If so, you create a duty for companies to provide that job. Then is employment truly a human right or something you want?

Speaking of rights, a (brief) introduction to my future arguments.

It is my opinion that the Government's job is to enforce, to protect the rights that we have. These rights cannot be contradictory, i.e. my right to liberty does not infringe on anyone else's rights. I can be free without subjecting annother person to not be free. However, other supposed rights, such as employment, which is what my opponent advocates for, contradict these rights. The "right" to employment infringes a company's right to choose employees based upon their own needs. If Pro would like me to explain these rights further I would gladly. Here is a link to my blog, I have written on this subject already (1).


Debate Round No. 1


PRO : Although in some cases, you made an excellent point. such as the fact that certain crimes pertaining to the safety of companies such as maybe having a DUI and trying to work for a moving, company etc.
However, it IS discrimination to not hire someone because of the fact they have a felony , is it not?
I will also continue to argue that in the state of Oklahoma for example has more women in prison than any other state. When they are released from prison, they try to get jobs to stay on the right track, and make money by getting a real job like normal citizens ,but it seems impossible because all places whether it being a minimum wage job, or background checks that go back 7 years. During your background investigation,if your crime was committed more than 7 years ago, and your background check comes back clear,that's fine,but on most applications ,the question says " have you EVER been convicted of a felony ,it doesn't say Have you been convicted of a felony in the last 7 years .So, although the background check was fine. The employer may throw your application in the trash as soon as you mark "yes". Also, most employers are more worried about violent, sexual, and theft charges , because that applies to most employers , but when that's a question you have to answer on the application, you never get a chance to explain the nature or severity of the crime that you committed. Do you understand why this is unfair , pro? It's against our rights, everyone has the right for equal opportunity, correct? No one should be discriminated against for any reason at all. It is however understandable that an employer should be worried about the wellbeing of their business. The background check should continue, but the question needs to change! I can also say that there would be less people on welfare , and government benefits if our employment rate increased. Also , to answer your question, I continue to TRY to get a descent job, pro but I have not been given a second chance, I also stated in my last argument that I was WRONGLY convicted. The truth of the matter is unless you've been convicted of a felony you will NEVER understand the struggle.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by David_Debates 2 months ago
Noooo! Do you want to copy/paste the arguments so far into a new debate?
So sorry for forfeiting, I really wanted to finish this debate.
Posted by FaustianJustice 2 months ago
Grand theft auto, possession with intent to distribute, shoplifting, indecent exposure... these are all "non violent" crimes according to their schedules. "Criminal negligence resulting in..." is a nonviolent charge. I am not certain you are going to get traction in this debate.
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