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Should Employee’s Criminal Past be Taken into Consideration in Decision to Hire?


A regional marketer at a non-profit lottery organization submitted his candidacy for the same position in a new tender published by the lottery. However, his candidacy was rejected after it became known that he was being investigation on suspicion on bribery in connection with a previous tender published by the lottery. While his candidacy was being considered by the committee, the candidate received an unofficial notice that the case against him had been closed due to lack of evidence. Nevertheless, his candidacy was rejected. The candidate appealed to the courts, hoping that the lottery’s decision would be overruled, but his claim was dismissed. The court argued that the fact that the investigation was pending and no decision had yet to been taken to file an indictment did not render such suspicion irreverent. The challenge is to strike the correct balance between an employer’s legitimate interests in protecting its business from candidates who are convicted criminals and society’s legitimate interests in facilitating the rehabilitation of repentant criminals.


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