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Fair Chance Hiring

Stakeholder Meeting

Joe Lange

on 9 July 2015

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Transcript of Fair Chance Hiring

Applicants with records are already treated fairly by hiring managers. If they fail to attain gainful employment it is because a more experienced candidate got the job instead...
Studies show that hiring managers are reluctant to hire someone that checks "the box," even when they are the most qualified candidate.
The reduced economic output of people with felonies and prison records is estimated at $57-$65 billion in losses to the U.S. economy...
Fair chance hiring can increase tax contributions, boost sales tax, and save money by lowering the rate of recidivism.
It is the initial disqualification that leads to hopelessness and desperation...
Positivity and hope improve when applicants know they'll receive a fair evaluation based on their experience level.
Removing the box is unfair to job seekers. It can discourage them if they are given "false hope" when they will eventually not be hired anyway...
Positive Impacts
Public Safety
A 2011 study of the formerly incarcerated found that employment was the single most important influence on decreasing recidivism...

and that two years after release, nearly twice as many employed people with records avoided re-offending as compared to their unemployed counterparts.
According to a survey of family members of formerly incarcerated individuals who are unemployed...
43 percent were challenged in regaining custody of their children...
and 26 percent experienced trouble rebuilding relationships with family.
A 2011 study by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia found that putting 100 formerly incarcerated persons back to work would increase their lifetime earnings by $55 million...
increase their income tax contributions by $1.9 million...
and boost sales tax revenues by $770,000...
all while saving more than $2 million annually by keeping them out of the criminal justice system.
What is Fair-Chance Hiring?
It's a national effort focused on helping qualified job-seekers who have a criminal record to become employed.

And in return, give back to their community.
What are the components?
Ban the box
Removing the checkbox on applications that asks if the applicant has been convicted of a crime.
The checkbox adds a stigma that the applicant must then try to overcome, putting them at a disadvantage.
Implementing fair hiring policies.
These are policies that ease employment barriers.
These policies don't just delay a background check; they ensure that when background checks are required, they’re used fairly.
Focuses on individualized assessments
If a background check is required, and a criminal history is discovered, then employers should look at the relevance of the conviction and how it pertains to the job.
At a Glance
Fair Chance Hiring
As of July, 2015,
18 states
and over
100 cities

and counties
have taken steps to remove barriers to employment for qualified workers with records.

Support Shown
City of Austin and
Travis County
Both banned the Box in 2008
Dr. Mark Washington, Acting Assistant
City Manager, said having the
Ban the Box policy in place has helped
the hiring process become more efficient
and saved the taxpayers money by running
fewer background checks.
“We have not focused on a person’s inabilities based on their criminal history, but we focus more on their capabilities … and save the background check as the last part of the process.”
Private Employers
Some Companies that have implemented Ban the Box and Fair Chance Hiring
Koch Industries
Bed Bath & Beyond
Home Depot
These companies have removed the conviction question from their job applications.
U.S. Congress
With bipartisan support, 27 Senators and 70 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives appealed to President Obama to adopt a federal fair chance hiring policy for federal agencies and contractors.
The City Manager shall present those options to the Council Economic Opportunity Committee no later than September 14, 2015.
The City Manager is directed to provide staff support for a stakeholder process to develop language for potential policies to promote delaying inquiry into conviction history until later in the employment hiring process for private-sector employers.
Resolution No. 20150521-025
Why are we here?
Why Are We Here?
7 states
, the
District of Columbia
, and
26 cities and counties
extend their fair chance hiring policies to local
private employers.
68 percent of parents were having trouble paying child support...
1. http://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/2015/01/Report-Federal-Fair-Chance-Hiring-Agenda.pdf
2. http://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/NELP-Fair-Chance-Ban-the-Box-Toolkit.pdf
3. http://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/Fair-Chance-Ban-the-Box-Research.pdf
4. John Schmitt and Kris Warner, “Ex-offenders and the Labor Market,” Washington, D.C.: Center for Economic and Policy Research, 2010. (http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/ex-offenders-2010-11.pdf)
5. “Economic Benefits of Employing Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in Philadelphia,” 5. Philadelphia, PA: Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, 2011. (http://economyleague.org/files/ExOffenders_-_Full_Report_FINAL_revised.pdf)
6. Mark T. Berg and Beth M. Huebner, “Reentry and the Ties that Bind: An Examination of Social Ties, Employment, and Recidivism,” Justice Quarterly (28), 2011: 382-410. (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07418825.2010.498383?journalCode=rjqy20#preview)
7. Tracey Shollenberger, “When Relatives Return: Interviews with Family Members of Returning Prisoners in Houston, Texas,” Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute, 2009. (http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411903_when_relatives_return.pdf)

End Notes
to the City of Austin Fair Chance Hiring Stakeholder Meeting
- Dr. Mark Washington
What we need to know:
How should this be implemented in Austin?
What additional information would be helpful?
Thank You
Full transcript