Fair Chance Hiring
Fair chance hiring refers to policies that help people involved in the criminal justice system—formerly incarcerated people and individuals with arrest or probation records—find and secure jobs for which they are well-qualified. Removing questions about criminal history from job applications, known as “banning the box,” allows employers to judge applicants on their qualifications first, without the stigma of a record.
Fair chance hiring policies do not prohibit background checks, but they postpone them until later in the hiring process (i.e. the conditional offer stage of the process). The most effective policies not only ban the box, they ensure that criminal history information is used fairly and in accordance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidance on the use of criminal backgrounds in employment.
- Check out our fact sheet on fair chance hiring (PDF).
In 2015, The Leadership Conference was a part of an effort to push President Obama to make sure that the federal government is a model employer and help open the doors of opportunity for people with records by issuing an executive order and presidential memorandum that bans the box and ensures that both federal agencies and federal contractors comply with the EEOC guidance.
On November 2, 2015, President Obama announced a series of measures designed to help the re-entry process for formerly incarcerated people.
- Our March 2015 letter to the president
- Nearly 200 Groups Urge President Obama to Take Executive Action Adopting Fair-Chance Hiring Reforms for People with Records (PDF) – National Employment Law Project, All of Us or None, and PICO National Network.
- 70 Members of Congress Call on President Obama to ‘Ban the Box’ – The Root.com
On July 30, 2015, The Leadership Conference, All of Us or None, ACLU, Center for Community Change, PICO National Network, NELP, PolicyLink, and Southern Coalition for Social Justice joined more than 100 advocates from across the country for a demonstration in Lafayette Square, right in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.
The impacted leaders, advocates, civil rights leaders, and clergy issued a call for President Obama to lead the way by making the federal government a model employer.
- View more photos on Flickr and on PICO National Network’s photo shelter.
- Check out the Center for Community Change Action’s Storify of the demonstration.
- Advancing a Federal Fair Chance Hiring Agenda: Local & State Reforms Pave the Way for Presidential Action – National Employment Law Project report (January 2015)
- All of Us or None’s “Ban the Box” Campaign