Re "State should ask about past crimes" (Editorials, Aug. 30): Kudos to The Sacramento Bee's editorial board for attempting to take the middle ground in the debate over how to consider someone's criminal background when hiring for a state job. Putting the questions back on the application seems like an easy fix.
But is it? Consider the power this puts in the hands of managers to make the difficult decision of whether a particular background disqualifies someone from their job. Most will go with their gut, which is to not hire them. This doesn't help our recidivism problem, it results in adverse impact, and it doesn't help ensure the person with the best skills is hired.
In the current case, if the manager had followed existing best practices and done thorough reference checks, the problem likely would have been avoided. Training managers to hire well is the real issue, and one the state, like many other employers, has yet to resolve.
-- Bryan Baldwin, Sacramento