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The Census Bureau Accused of Discrimination

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The U.S. government hired 48,000 temporary employees in March to work for the Census Bureau, yet some job applicants have since filed a lawsuit against the government, alleging discrimination against minorities in the hiring process.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the decennial population count is one of the largest single sources of new jobs in the current economy; with approximately 4 million people applying for just over 1 million positions. Yet the lawsuit filed on Tuesday states that the Census Bureau is unlawfully screening out minorities by requiring all applicants to provide court documents related to an arrest, whether or not it resulted in a conviction.

Samuel Miller, an employment lawyer who is representing the plaintiffs in the case, says that this requirement has illegally deterred many African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans from applying for a job with the Census Bureau because these groups reportedly have had more arrests and convictions compared to Caucasian workers.

Evelyn Houser, an African-American plaintiff, says that the Census Bureau denied her employment because she couldn't produce court records of a 30-year-old arrest for theft. She has had a clean record since then.

Michael Maslanka, a Texas employment lawyer that defends businesses against employment lawsuits admitted that employers often get themselves into trouble with the law when there are "blanket policies excluding job applicants with prior arrests or convictions." Any employee who has had trouble getting a job due to an arrest should consider consulting a Houston employment lawyer to learn more information.

Related Resources:

  • Hiring Employees FAQ (FindLaw)
  • Top 5 Considerations When Hiring Employees (FindLaw's Free Enterprise Blog)
  • See a Texas Employment Lawyer (FindLaw)

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