Gut Rumbles

March 30, 2004

i suppose that it's "profiling"

Once upon a time, I received phone calls from people who were considering hiring and ex-employee of mine. I was at liberty to say, "He's a good worker. I would hire him back myself," or "The sumbitch ain't worth the powder it would take to blow him away. He's lazy, he won't come to work on time and he's also dumb as a red brick."

That procedure doesn't happen anymore. I attended a training class where I was instructed that whenever I received such a phone call, I was to say, "I can confirm that he was employed here, but any other questions need to be directed to our Human Resources Department," and then hang up. HR took it from there and they did the legal tap-dance all around the issue of whether the applicant was worth a shit or not as an employee without answering any questions.

Worker's rights, don't you know. That remarkable "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy results in a lot of crap such as this:

As a result, Cullen wasn't arrested until December, after authorities found that at least two patients at a Somerville, N.J., hospital received overdoses of drugs that hadn't been prescribed. Cullen was charged with murder and attempted murder. Detectives say he admitted killing 30 to 40 patients during 16 years to "alleviate their suffering."

Cullen's case is an extreme example. But reticence by businesses and governments that give job references is standard. Fearing defamation suits by former workers, most firms provide only dates of employment and job titles during reference checks. In fact, lawyers routinely advise employers to say as little as possible even when a worker had been fired and staying tight-lipped could expose others to avoidable risks.

Nut-cases get a free pass and good workers are punished by such legal thinking. But it covers corporate asses and makes the leftists happy. What a country.

And what a legal system.