Workplace fraud: Why should employers not require an employee to apply for a job?

A recent employment fraud case from the US is giving rise to new questions about whether employers can demand an employee show a valid work history before they can hire them.

The case in question is one of several that show employers can refuse to hire people simply because of their criminal convictions. 

It comes after the US Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling in June that will see the Supreme Court review cases brought by employers and states over the legality of such requirements. 

This case concerns an alleged criminal case against an Indiana couple in which a criminal charge was withdrawn because of an investigation by Indiana’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

In a ruling handed down last month, Justice Stephen Breyer said: “Employers are entitled to inspect an applicant’s criminal history and make a reasonable determination whether that applicant should be employed.” 

“The Government may not require that an applicant show criminal convictions to gain a business benefit,” Justice Breyer wrote.

“But employers may have a compelling interest in preventing the commission of a crime, including those who have been convicted of such crimes.”

The ruling came after a lawsuit by the couple’s lawyers against the state of Indiana and the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

In the case, the couple was employed by a firm in Bloomington, Indiana. 

The couple, who have not been named, were accused of stealing from a customer and then using their employer’s credit cards to pay for it.

The couple was ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution to the customer.

The Bureau of Employment and Training (BEIT) was contacted by the state and told the couple that the Bureau had determined that their employment had been fraudulent and that they could no longer work there. 

However, the company refused to terminate the couple because they were still employed by the firm.

The decision by the BEIT was upheld by the Supreme Supreme Court, which ruled that employers can’t require an applicant to show a criminal history. 

“If a employer cannot demonstrate that a particular employee is not currently engaged in or likely to engage in criminal activity, the employer has a reasonable basis to refuse to employ the employee,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the court’s majority opinion. 

As a result, Justice Gorsuch said that an employer could not refuse to recruit someone based on a criminal record. 

Employers may still refuse to accept applications from applicants with criminal convictions, but there is a greater risk of employers forcing an applicant into the criminal justice system. 

A similar decision came out of the US, when an Indiana sheriff refused to hire a suspect who had been convicted in 2008 for assaulting a woman in the city of Columbus, Ohio. 

In the US case, a judge ruled that the sheriff had no right to refuse the application because of a criminal conviction. 

Another case from Illinois involved a woman who was employed at a business in Joliet, Illinois. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, she was arrested in January 2016 for allegedly stealing $3,000 from her boss. 

She was released on a $3.2 million bond. 

Her employers eventually terminated her because of her criminal convictions and the investigation. 

When her employer was contacted, the owner of the business refused to pay her because she had a criminal background. 

Despite her conviction, the woman was hired by a competitor. 

After an investigation, the prosecutor said the company would not prosecute her. 

Ultimately, the case ended up in the Supreme Judicial Court where Justice Gorsuch was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.

In an opinion written by Justice Breyers, the justices noted that an employee’s criminal record was a “powerful predictor” of future criminal conduct. 

 “Even if the employer could prove that the employee had no criminal record, it may still find it reasonable to refuse an employment offer,” Justice Gorsuch wrote. 

What are some of the other issues that will be addressed in the upcoming Supreme Court case? 

Should employers be allowed to refuse workers who have criminal records from joining a union? 

Will employers be able to force employees to have criminal backgrounds? 

How will the Supreme’s decision affect employers who are already in a position of power in the workplace? 

What will the court do in the future? 

Source: News24