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Would it be legal to ban felons from NHL?

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Old
07-26-2013, 08:03 PM
  #1
Pat Paeplow
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Would it be legal to ban felons from NHL?

Would it be legal within US and Canadian labor law for the NHL or another sports league to have an overt written policy stating that convicted felons(maybe felons convicted of violent crimes) are not eligible to be employed - ever. If an individual is currently employed by the league at the time of his conviction, his contract is null and void. He is unconditionally released, uneligible for resign, basically a lifetime ban for any convicted felon.

I'm not asking if they could get the PA behind it. I know that would be a death march.

The Aaron Hernandez situation got me wondering why these leagues don't ban violent felons outright. It seems like they would save themselves a lot of headaches and maybe even gain themselves some goodwill. It seems like teams pick these players up because they would be putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage if they didn't. Yet, it wouldn't matter if they weren't in the talent pool. I can't think of anyone who would be truly upset if these felons got banned except for the actual felons and maybe the pro-felon lobby if that exists.

Here in the States, when I apply for a job, all boilerplate applications ask the job seeker if they have been convicted of a crime greater than a traffic offense and its fairly commonplace for most prospective employers to do a background check. Obviously, if felony convictions turn up, the hiring manager will probably turn to other applications and that is completely his right. I just don't know if its legal if he tells the job seeker he's not getting hired because of his conviction.

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07-26-2013, 08:06 PM
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I don't see how banning convicted felons contributes to a higher safety standard for other professionals or fans - which is the only reason I can fathom they would do it for.

It is different for the workplace where people are put into position of trust with company resources and funds. Where, potentially, a past felon could put the company in an unwanted situation.

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07-26-2013, 08:18 PM
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Pat Paeplow
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The reason I was thinking they would want to do it would be for PR. This probably isn't a big deal for the NHL but the NFL gets hammered incessantly when their guys wind up in jail. it seems like they could inoculate for bad press by having a firm zero tolerance policy. There are those pesky civil rights laws, though.

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07-26-2013, 08:20 PM
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Brodie
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Incredibly illegal

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07-26-2013, 08:46 PM
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kdb209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
Incredibly illegal
Yup.

The EEOC views a blanket prohibition as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/i...conviction.cfm
Quote:
Pre-Employment Inquiries and Arrest & Conviction

There is no Federal law that clearly prohibits an employer from asking about arrest and conviction records. However, using such records as an absolute measure to prevent an individual from being hired could limit the employment opportunities of some protected groups and thus cannot be used in this way.

Since an arrest alone does not necessarily mean that an applicant has committed a crime the employer should not assume that the applicant committed the offense. Instead, the employer should allow him or her the opportunity to explain the circumstances of the arrest(s) and should make a reasonable effort to determine whether the explanation is reliable.

Even if the employer believes that the applicant did engage in the conduct for which he or she was arrested that information should prevent him or her from employment only to the extent that it is evident that the applicant cannot be trusted to perform the duties of the position when

- considering the nature of the job,
- the nature and seriousness of the offense,
- and the length of time since it occurred.

This is also true for a conviction.

Several state laws limit the use of arrest and conviction records by prospective employers. These range from laws and rules prohibiting the employer from asking the applicant any questions about arrest records to those restricting the employer's use of conviction data in making an employment decision.
Note that for the NHL or any other sports league, the terms of and eligibility for employment are collectively bargained - so the NHLPA would have to agree to any restrictions.

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07-26-2013, 08:59 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Overlooked

Labour law is trumped by international conventions governing the ability of criminally convicted individuals and other undesirables to cross international borders.

In other words it does not matter if the NHL lets a convicted felon play. If the appropriate customs and immigration agencies in a country will not issue a waiver or let the player in, he is not playing.

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07-26-2013, 09:06 PM
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rojac
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Labour law is trumped by international conventions governing the ability of criminally convicted individuals and other undesirables to cross international borders.

In other words it does not matter if the NHL lets a convicted felon play. If the appropriate customs and immigration agencies in a country will not issue a waiver or let the player in, he is not playing.
More accurately, he's not playing in the country that won't let him. For example, if he's an American who isn't allowed into Canada, he could still play for his team in games played in the US.

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07-26-2013, 09:28 PM
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No you can't legally bad a felon once he serves his time.

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07-26-2013, 10:04 PM
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More accurately, he's not playing in the country that won't let him. For example, if he's an American who isn't allowed into Canada, he could still play for his team in games played in the US.
Ya. Or even more complicated like the case of Bob Probert in 89/90. Got busted for Cocaine Possession crossing the Windsor-Detroit border by American authorities, 3 months in jail & 3 months in a halfway house, upon release to be deported to Canada & barred from re-entry into the United States. Instead, his Lawyers file an appeal upon his release from custody to have the Deportation Order over-turned and while waiting for that to be heard, Probert, a Canadian Citizen playing for Detroit cant cross back into Canada because if he does, he'll be barred from re-entering the US. Not sure if he played home & US games only awaiting judgement of that or if he was under league suspension at that time. There have been some strange cases over the years, going all the way back to WW1 & charges of Draft Dodging, Deportations etc....

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07-26-2013, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rojac View Post
More accurately, he's not playing in the country that won't let him. For example, if he's an American who isn't allowed into Canada, he could still play for his team in games played in the US.
But let's say a team doesn't want to sign this player because he can't play in Canada? Would he have a good case on the grounds of them not hiring him because he's was a convicted felon, even though he can't perform his job as well as others because he can't play every game?

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07-26-2013, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya. Or even more complicated like the case of Bob Probert in 89/90. Got busted for Cocaine Possession crossing the Windsor-Detroit border by American authorities, 3 months in jail & 3 months in a halfway house, upon release to be deported to Canada & barred from re-entry into the United States. Instead, his Lawyers file an appeal upon his release from custody to have the Deportation Order over-turned and while waiting for that to be heard, Probert, a Canadian Citizen playing for Detroit cant cross back into Canada because if he does, he'll be barred from re-entering the US. Not sure if he played home & US games only awaiting judgement of that or if he was under league suspension at that time. There have been some strange cases over the years, going all the way back to WW1 & charges of Draft Dodging, Deportations etc....
Rats, was gonna post on Probert but beaten to the punch.

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07-26-2013, 10:53 PM
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Rats, was gonna post on Probert but beaten to the punch.
You can cite the example of one Bernie Morris. 1919. Canadian citizen playing for the Seattle Millionaires. Arrested just prior to the ill fated Stanley Cup Challenge in Portland, sentenced to 2yrs at Alcatraz by a US Military Tribunal for Draft Dodging. Well, you know the rest of the story mouser, so I'll let you finish it.

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07-26-2013, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
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But let's say a team doesn't want to sign this player because he can't play in Canada? Would he have a good case on the grounds of them not hiring him because he's was a convicted felon, even though he can't perform his job as well as others because he can't play every game?
You can't refuse to sign him merely because he's a convicted felon. But you can refuse to sign him because he can't perform the duties of the job, i.e. play all 82 season games + exhibitions + playoffs.

There's a similar principle in job interview questions. You can't ask a person if their religion prohibits working on Saturdays (Jewish) or Sundays (Christian). But you can have the job requirements state that the employee is required to work Saturdays/Sundays. You can legally ask if they can work Saturdays/Sundays, and deny them the job if the answer is "no". I know this sounds picky-picky-picky, but it comes down to how the question/denial is phrased. The basic idea is you don't ask WHY they can't do "X", you ask IF they can't do "X".

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07-26-2013, 11:03 PM
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reminds me of Billy Tibbetts. Wasn't allowed to play in Canada.

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07-26-2013, 11:50 PM
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Teams can just not offer him a contract, they cant officially ban him but they can do that.

Nobody can prove they conspired to keep him out.

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07-26-2013, 11:57 PM
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depends on the conviction and their ability cross borders

Bob Probert and others are example. Also, DUI are felonies and not all players who get busted make the headlines

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07-27-2013, 12:02 AM
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How does NBA and MLB get around that rule when teams go to play in Toronto. I am sure felons played against Toronto teams at Toronto before.

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07-27-2013, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker McDonald View Post
But let's say a team doesn't want to sign this player because he can't play in Canada? Would he have a good case on the grounds of them not hiring him because he's was a convicted felon, even though he can't perform his job as well as others because he can't play every game?
A team is not forced to sign any specific players. Doesn't differ from when a team doesn't want to sign Ray Emery for his reputation even though he's a decent goalie.

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07-27-2013, 07:00 AM
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Legal Exceptions

Quote:
Originally Posted by krnboy1009 View Post
How does NBA and MLB get around that rule when teams go to play in Toronto. I am sure felons played against Toronto teams at Toronto before.
Law allows for various waivers, pardons and other legal exceptions that allow entry into a country under certain conditions.

Severity and the nature of the felony are also a factor.

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07-27-2013, 07:45 AM
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And in more recent history is Mike Danton.

He's had trouble even getting a job with European leagues after his conspiracy conviction for planning on hiring a hitman to kill his agent.

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07-27-2013, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Law allows for various waivers, pardons and other legal exceptions that allow entry into a country under certain conditions.

Severity and the nature of the felony are also a factor.
Here's a good idea of a common law balancing test they codified in NY in 2007.

NY Corrections Law 753:

"
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New York Correction - Article 23-A - 753 Factors to Be Considered Concerning a Previous Criminal Conviction; Presumption

Legal Research Home > New York Laws > New York Correction (COR) > New York Correction - Article 23-A - 753 Factors to Be Considered Concerning a Previous Criminal Conviction; Presumption




Correction

753. Factors to be considered concerning a previous criminal
conviction; presumption. 1. In making a determination pursuant to
section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or
private employer shall consider the following factors:
(a) The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to
encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted
of one or more criminal offenses.
(b) The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to
the license or employment sought or held by the person.
(c) The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which
the person was previously convicted will have on his fitness or ability
to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.
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offense or offenses.
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offense or offenses.
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(g) Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf,
in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.
(h) The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer
in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific
individuals or the general public.
2. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred
fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall
also give consideration to a certificate of relief from disabilities or
a certificate of good conduct issued to the applicant, which certificate
shall create a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offense or
offenses specified therein."

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