The Ultimate Catch-22
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) threatens to sue companies that refuse to hire criminals. Reportedly they have already opened hundreds of investigations in search of potential justification for lawsuits.
The book “Catch-22” is a satirical fictional novel by Joseph Heller about the adventures of Army Air Force Captain John Yossarian and his cohorts during World War II. The individuals routinely encounter self-contradictory and illogical regulations and orders from superiors that cannot possibly be fulfilled; the book recounts their hilarious “solutions.” Consequently the term “catch-22” has come to stand for bureaucratic absurdity and bungling in the form of illogical, conflicting, and immoral government laws and regulations that cannot possibly be satisfied without violating a regulation or breaking a law.
We have seen a proliferation of absurd regulations of late, but the latest proposal by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) appears to be the ultimate catch-22.
Specifically, the EEOC is threatening to sue companies that refuse to hire convicted criminals due to background check results indicating criminal history. But if a firm proceeds to hire the criminal under pressure from the EEOC and the criminal subsequently commits a repeat offense on the job, then the company is still liable for a lawsuit. Catch-22.
Just think of the possibilities:
- A bank may have to hire a convicted embezzler to avoid a lawsuit by the EEOC, but when the embezzler subsequently steals customers’ money, the bank will face a lawsuit for its actions from the customers and perhaps even from other government agencies. Catch-22.
- A day-care is forbidden to conduct a background check of applicants or face a lawsuit from the EEOC; consequently it unknowingly hires a convicted pedophile. Perhaps the day-care then becomes liable for a lawsuit for not complying with local pedophile laws requiring background checks. Or when that pedophile molests one of the children at the day-care, the organization faces huge lawsuits from the parents. Or the day-care could have simply continued to conduct background checks and get sued by the EEOC. Catch-22.
- The possibilities are endless…
Here are some links:
 The EEOC’s “logic” is that because convicted criminals are disproportionately black, refusal to hire criminals proves the existence of a racial bias against blacks.
 To add insult to injury, the EEOC is adopting the position that any firm refusing to hire a felon must substantiate their decision to do so: In other words, the firm is deemed guilty unless proven innocent – contrary to our long established tradition of innocence until proven otherwise!