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Only 18% Favor Law Prohibiting Employers From Considering Criminal Background When Hiring

Saturday, July 30, 2011

San Francisco is considering a new law that would prohibit employers from inquiring about an individual’s criminal history before hiring them. Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts and Philadelphia already have similar laws. But just 18% of American Adults favor a law that would prohibit employers from considering an applicant’s criminal record when making a hiring decision.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 66% oppose such a law. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Those who make less than $40,000 annually are more supportive of the law compared to those who make more. There is little difference of opinion between government and private sector workers on this question. There's also virtually no partisan disagreement over the law.

Meanwhile, the number of workers who believe a fellow employee is capable of violence has gone up from two years ago. Thirty-five percent (35%) of all employed adults now say they have seriously thought someone at their workplace was capable of mass violence, up from 26% in November 2009, just after the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say they've never thought that about any co-worker.

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The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on July 27-28, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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