While the new law enjoyed wide support, at least one ex-con who lives in Minnetonka said it hasn’t made it easier for him to get a job. The 55-year-old, who asked to be identified only by his nickname, Fima, said he came to the United States from the former Soviet Union as a political refugee.
Fima said he worked for Mitsubishi until he was fired in 2002 when the company found pornography on his laptop. Court documents show there were more than 1,000 images of minors on the hard drive. He disputes how the images got there but out of fear of losing at trial pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of pornographic work involving a minor. He said he hasn’t been able to get a job since.
Box still there
Recently, Fima did an informal Skype interview with Robert Half Technology, which then sent him an e-mail with two attachments. One was an employment application with the box on it, although instructions state not to answer the question if applying in Hawaii, Indiana, Newark N.J., Massachusetts or Philadelphia.
Also attached was a one-page form for Minnesota with the question. The form makes clear that when applicants complete their interview, they’ll be asked about prior criminal convictions, but it says not to fill out the form until after an in-person interview or submitting an application.
Robert Half spokeswoman Jamie Carpen said the application was outdated and should have listed Minnesota as one of the no-box states. Carpen said she doesn’t think the application was sent to anyone else and called it a “clerical error.”
Fima said that to him the message was clear: Despite a delay in questions about his conviction, he would continue to be hobbled by his past. “I feel that I’m worthless,” he said.