Tags: Koch Industries | criminal | background | histories | process

Koch Industries Not Asking Job Applicants About Criminal Histories

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 04:48 PM

Koch Industries is no longer ask job applicants about their criminal histories during the initial application process.

CEO Charles Koch has been part of the effort to overhaul the criminal justice system, arguing that many people convicted of nonviolent crimes shouldn't even be incarcerated in the first place.

The Wichita, Kansas-based company dropped the questions last month, USA Today reported. The company has 60,000 employees in the United States, with more than half of them in the manufacturing sector.

"Do we want to be judged for the rest of our life for something that happened on our worst day?" Mark Holden, Koch's general counsel and senior vice president, told USA Today.

He said the criminal code should be "enhancing public safety," not "putting mentally ill people in prison as a way station or just kind of dealing with vagrants or people with drug problems."

Koch and Holden wrote an op-ed in January in Politico titled "The Overcriminalization of America: How to reduce poverty and improve race relations by rethinking our justice system."

In the piece, Koch and Holden wrote that overcriminalization "affects us all but most profoundly harms our disadvantaged citizens."

Koch Industries and other employers will continue to do background checks on job applicants once they reach the stage of being offered a job and any criminal background will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The news was welcomed by Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, who said, "The fact that more and more of our nation's major employers — including a company like Koch Industries that is synonymous with conservative politics — are choosing to embrace fair-hiring policies shows that this is an idea with broad appeal whose time has come."

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Koch Industries is no longer ask job applicants about their criminal histories during the initial application process.
Koch Industries, criminal, background, histories, process
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 04:48 PM
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