Fair Chance Hiring

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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.

Past campaign

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.

More information

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.