More on Apple’s Construction Hiring

Wendy Lee, in a follow-up report for the San Francisco Chronicle:

A person familiar with the policy said construction workers with felony convictions within the last seven years are not permitted on the site, while those with earlier felony convictions could find work building the campus. People with “felony charges pending court disposition” are evaluated on a case by case basis, said the source.

“Evaluated on a case by case basis” is very different from the blanket ban Lee reported over the weekend.

In a separate op-ed piece, Debra J. Saunders reiterates the same policy:

Apple would not respond on the record, but someone familiar with the matter said the Apple policy affects only ex-offenders convicted of felonies in the past seven years. The person said that the corporation reviews pending charges and does not automatically discharge those facing prosecution, and that the policy exists to promote quality and safety. […]

Apple has not alleged that any of the fewer than five workers let go were not pulling their weight on the job.

I’m not sure where her “fewer than five workers” figure comes from — if they can be that specific, why not an exact number? But if I had to guess, I’d say “fewer than five” means “three or four”. Here’s my question that the Chronicle has not addressed: do other companies of similar stature to Apple — Google, Intel, Facebook, etc. — have similar hiring policies for construction work?

Update: Email from DF reader “CT”:

I work in the public service and when dealing in statistics we say either 0 or fewer than 5.

Giving a specific number lower than 5 risks identifying individuals. If only one person had to leave the Apple site, and they say “one worker”, their fellow workers could conclude that they have a felony conviction. From a privacy perspective it is better to keep it ambiguous than to risk identifying an individual.

Monday, 6 April 2015