I know I’m late, but I just recently started watching Shameless (it didn’t take long to become hooked, I’m on season 7 right now). Besides the funny and crazy things that happen on the show, they actually do touch on a few topics that make me think. If you haven’t seen Shameless or are not up to date on what happened, I apologize in advance for the spoiler alert. But, for those of us who are pretty caught up, you know all about the scene with Fiona and her going to jail.
To recap, to celebrate her birthday, Fiona Gallagher and her friends have a get together at her house, and if you watch Shameless, you already know that this get together included drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, one of Fiona’s little brother’s gets into her cocaine and is rushed to the hospital. He suffers from seizures and the doctor’s tell them that the drugs may cause permanent brain damage. Fiona is also arrested for illegal drug use and child endangerment at the hospital.
Fast forward a bit, she ends up not having to go to prison, but instead pleads guilty, which equated to her having a felony conviction and being put on probation (which she ends up violating anyway). The part about this that really made me think was when she started to apply to jobs. At one point, she was interviewing for a position that she seemed the perfect fit for, until the interviewer noticed that Fiona left the “have you ever been convicted of a felony?” box unanswered. After explaining herself and her situation, she does not get the job.
If you ask me, what she did was wrong, and in my opinion, her arrest was justified. On the other hand, if you watch the show, you know that Fiona is the primary caretaker of her family and would never purposely put them in danger, this was one isolated incident. Sure, in an employer’s eyes, this can make her seem irresponsible and untrustworthy. But, should this negate the fact that she excelled in her previous position? What if she’s never late, has great ideas, and is willing to work overtime? What if you had the perfect candidate, who fit all of the qualities you need professionally, but their background check didn’t come turn out to be so clean?
I guess the part that really makes me think is, for those who are responsible for employment, is a felony conviction a deal breaker no matter what? And what about the hundreds of people who are falsely convicted? I guess what I’m asking is, what crime is too big to become employed, and whose place is it really to decide?