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These poll numbers were released earlier today by Rasmussen Reports -- "an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information."


Only 18% Favor Law Prohibiting Employers From Considering Criminal Background When Hiring

Saturday, July 30, 2011

San Francisco is considering a new law that would prohibit employers from inquiring about an individual's criminal history before hiring them. Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts and Philadelphia already have similar laws. But just 18% of American Adults favor a law that would prohibit employers from considering an applicant's criminal record when making a hiring decision.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 66% oppose such a law. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here .) 

Those who make less than $40,000 annually are more supportive of the law compared to those who make more. There is little difference of opinion between government and private sector workers on this question. There's also virtually no partisan disagreement over the law.

Meanwhile, the number of workers who believe a fellow employee is capable of violence has gone up from two years ago. Thirty-five percent (35%) of all employed adults now say they have seriously thought someone at their workplace was capable of mass violence, up from 26% in November 2009 , just after the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.   Fifty-nine percent (59%) say they've never thought that about any co-worker.

The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on July 27-28, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by  Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See  methodology.

Men are more likely than women to believe a co-worker is capable of violence.

Government employees (51%) are twice as likely as private sector workers (25%) to say they've considered a co-worker capable of mass violence.

Fortunately, a plurality of workers (46%) says their workplace has procedures in place to identify troubled employees, down only slightly from 2009. Thirty-eight percent (38%) report their workplace does not have such procedures in place, while another 17% aren't sure.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of all adults believe stricter controls on gun ownership would reduce workplace shootings, up from 22% in November 2009. Still, 56% don't believe stricter gun control laws would minimize this problem. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

In January just after the shootings of a U.S. congresswoman and the killing of six others in Arizona, only 29% of Adults said stricter gun control laws would help prevent similar shootings.

More adults than ever report that  crime in their community has increased  over the past year, and most think the continuing bad economy will cause the crime rate to rise even higher. In April, 51% said they believe hate is growing in America .

Less than half of adults nationwide believe the U.S. system of justice is fair to most Americans . But far more think the problem with the system is not that the innocent are treated unfairly but that the guilty go free.