Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Justice Department suspected of "ideology" screening of job applicants

The Washington Post this morning (June 24) ran a most disturbing story about alleged Justice Department “screening” of applicants for ideology and belief, based at least on keywords found in employment applications, and also based on previous publication history, even in professional journals.

The story is by Carrie Johnson, appears on p A11, and is titled “Ideology-based hiring at Justice broke laws, investigation finds,” with link here.

One applicant was apparently screened out because she had published a piece about gender discrimination in the U.S. military. The article does not mention “don’t ask don’t tell” but clearly that issue would have raised even a bigger flag in “ideology screening”.

It does not require too much imagination to wonder if DOJ scanned social networking sites and personal blogs for “ideological fitness”.

The newspaper story indicates a trend toward political appointments in the Bush administration, starting in 2002.

I applied for a DOJ IT job through the USAjobs site in 2004, and actually got a consideration and rejection letter about six months later. Generally, I think, to get a job you have to know the right people. It’s always like that, even for the many jobs in my IT career that I did have.

I have a distantly related post in May 2008 on my GLBT blog and whether federal policies on sexual orientation discrimination in civil service are followed, here.

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