I think employers have a right to protect their interests, their current employees, the markets and business contacts, their shareholder/investor interests, and the general public.
It is unfortunate if a prospective employee has a previous record that makes it difficult for him/her to find a job, but we should appreciate that people are convicted on account of taking willful decisions - otherwise they could not be convicted.
I would make an exception of bad credit ratings since that can arise out of failed financial expectations beyond the person's control.
Otherwise, I would be careful to expose my stakeholders to known ex-convicts. If I have the option to pick someone without this baggage, that would be my first choice.
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