Robert Smith, 38, submitted an online application for a job at a local New York Red Lobster Restaurant. Upon receiving no response from Red Lobster, he called the restaurant repeatedly to no avail. On the fifth day, however, he called and did finally talk to the manager of the Red Lobster who informed him that she didn’t hire convicted felons.
Smith was apparently offended and humiliated by her remark and decided to do what has become a favorite American pastime … he filed a lawsuit. And, according to the current New York statutes that do not give employers the discretion to turn away convicted job applicants, he might just have a case.
According to various media outlets, this man has been sentenced at least twice …. not once … but twice …. to a state prison (and this is based on the earliest media reports), for at least three counts of robbery. I might point out that the robbery part … those were the number of robberies of which he was actually convicted.
I have to say that I’m just not feeling the offense and humiliation Mr. Smith states that he has suffered. I do feel the suffering and fear of those that this man was convicted of robbing. I’m pretty sure the victims were offended as well.
This lawsuit and story may go away silently into the night. Or, it may blow up into one huge controversy with lines being drawn and sides being chosen.
I can hear the gentle hearts out there saying that everyone deserves a second chance to turn his life around. With that being said, since he has reportedly served two stints in prison, I would think we are actually giving him a third chance. I also believe the primary reason we send people to prison is get them off the street and to lock them away from society so they can do no more harm. I believe (in my humble opinion) that any rehabilitation that actually does take place is a perk for the tax payers footing the bill of those imprisoned.
I would also ask that the “gentle hearts” answer one question before screaming about rights and giving someone another chance. Would YOU invite someone into your home to do your housework, yard work …or take care of your children, if you knew they had spent a decade in prison (two separate terms) for three counts of robbery? I mean … seriously… ask yourself that. If the answer is yes, God bless you and if you send me your name, address and telephone number, I will do my best to see he gets the information. If you hear your inner voice saying “oh, hell no!” then don’t be too quick to jump on the ex-con’s side of this.
Looks like Red Lobster is between a crab shell and a lobster tail. If the company is forced to hire him (or any of the other criminals who feel they are being discriminated against because of their previous crimes …seriously??), they then run the risk of being sued by an employee or customer if placed in a dangerous situation because of said employee. And … just how many more law suits will pop up because employers have the audacity to refuse ex-cons employment?
Bottom line for this writer …. I believe the owners of small businesses and large corporations, alike, should have the right to hire the people that they feel comfortable with and that represents their company in the best light for them.
I wonder … if Red Lobster ends up having to hire this guy… if they will change some of the menu items to reflect the policies being forced upon the company.
“Ummm, let’s see …. I’ll have the Devils Island Crab, with the Penne Tentiary Pasta, and the Attica Asparagus, please. Oh, and a side order of the fraudulent fries with extra assault … and if you could bring the battery cheese biscuits now, that would be great. And, I’ll have one of those Specialty drinks …ummm …yes, the Robsterita with an extra shot, please”