From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
Oct. 8 — Federal agencies and government contractors would be prohibited from asking about a job applicant's criminal history until after making a conditional employment offer, under “ban the box” legislation approved by voice vote Oct. 7 by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Fair Chance Act (S. 2021) was introduced Sept. 10 by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), joined by a bipartisan group of co-sponsors who said they expected quick action from Congress on the measure. The Senate panel approved a substitute amendment from Booker and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the committee, during the markup.
The measure would cover federal executive branch agencies, along with the U.S. Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Executive Office of the President.
However, it wouldn't cover job applicants for positions where “consideration of criminal history record information prior to a conditional offer with respect to the position is otherwise required by law,” according to the text of the bill. These include federal law enforcement and national security jobs, along with other federal positions where the Office of Personnel Management has determined that criminal history queries are necessary, the bill says.
The OPM under the measure would be responsible for issuing regulations identifying additional exempt positions, “giving due consideration to positions that involve interaction with minors, access to sensitive information, or managing financial transactions,” the legislation specifies.
“If someone getting out of prison wants to work, wants to be a productive member of society, we should do everything we can to facilitate that. The dignity of work is one of the best ways we can keep people from turning back to a life of crime,” Johnson said in an Oct. 7 statement with Booker.
The committee's approval of the Fair Chance Act “is a testament to the growing bipartisan support for reforms that break down barriers to hiring people who've paid their debt to society and are looking to turn their lives around,” added Booker in the joint statement. “There are millions of Americans with records who are too often passed over by employers without considering their skills or qualifications.”
According to the statement from Johnson and Booker, more than 70 million Americans have criminal histories.
“Studies show that a criminal record reduces the likelihood of a callback or job offer by nearly 50 percent for men in general. African-American men with criminal records are 60 percent less likely to receive a callback or job offer than those without records,” the statement said.
It added that 18 states and more than 100 cities and counties have enacted policies to help people with criminal records avoid having to “check the box” about a past felony conviction on a job application. “Additionally, companies such as Walmart, Koch Industries, Target, Home Depot, and Bed, Bath & Beyond have embraced similar policies to more fairly assess job applicants,” the statement said.
Other co–sponsors of the measure are Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
On the House side, similar legislation (H.R. 3470) was introduced Sept. 10 by Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), along with original co-sponsors Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich) and Robert C. Scott (D-Va.). Cummings is the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
To contact the reporter on this story: Louis C. LaBrecque in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)