Thursday, March 02, 2006

It may be a little nutty, but ...

Chip and Dale (pictured here), a new addition to the blogoshere quickly made by the Blogfather, want the UW to fire the felons on its payroll, but wonder whether it would be legal to do so.

The Shark knows the law and the Shepherd wants you to know it too.

(By the way, I am not making fun of our conservative Chipmunks who have a good blog. My son loved the Rescue Rangers when he was little and I could't resist the opportunity to post a picture.)

For most - and maybe all - of these employees, the answer is probably no. Wisconsin is one of about ten states that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis or arrest or conviction record unless "substantially related" to circumstances of the job. It is extremely unlikely that any court would find that the conviction of any felony makes one unsuitable for contact with college students.

The UW can be criticized for the way in which it conducts background checks or its slowness in getting rid of people whose crimes are subtantially related to the circumstance of their jobs (like these guys), but it cannot, as Dale wants, "[m]ake a guarantee to your students that in the normal course of their studies, including in the classroom and daily activities within school facilities, that they will not come in contact with any convicted felons." Not without changing the law

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