- - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s “guidelines” on background checks for job applicants are yet another example of the liberal shibboleth that any race-neutral practice or procedure that results in fewer hires from a protected racial minority group necessarily means that illegal discrimination has occurred (“Some members of civil-rights panel accuse EEOC of overreach on racism,” Web, Feb. 20). They believe discrimination has occurred even in cases where the individuals from groups who were “under-hired” happened to have been convicted felons.

Students of statistics 101 — of whom there are apparently very few at the EEOC — recognize that a mere correlation is not evidence of causation, and that mere percentages showing differences between groups are evidence of nothing.

I found the testimony presented by various witnesses at a December 2012 public EEOC briefing I attended to be very interesting in a Kafka-esque sort of way. In particular, I recommend readers review the testimony of EEOC Acting Associate Legal Counsel Carol Miaskoff. At one point, Ms. Miaskoff said that her agency did not possess data on how the job performance of felons compares to the job performance of non-felons. Find the entire morbidly entertaining transcript on the U.S. Commisison on Civil Rights website.

TIM FAY

Silver Spring