Rodriguez, Michelle Natividad
The exclusion of individuals with criminal records from employment is examined. People working with soon to be released prisoners or ex-offenders should be aware of this issue. The ability to find gainful employment, one of the critical needs for successful reentry, will be critically impacted by the sometimes unnecessary checking of criminal histories. Six sections are contained in this report: introduction; shutting workers with criminal records out of the job market compromises the economy and public safety; over broad hiring restrictions run afoul of federal laws regulating criminal background checks for employment; wave of lawsuits documents routine civil rights and consumer protection violations; Craigslist survey reveals flagrant abuses by the nation’s largest companies; and recommendations.
"A record creates a serious barrier to employment for millions of workers, especially in communities of color hardest hit by decades of over-criminalization. Fair-chance hiring policies are intended to help dismantle this employment barrier by ensuring that job applicants with records are assessed on their merits, rather than on negative stereotypes associated with having a record" (p. 1). This publication explains how delaying the inquiry of criminal conviction after providing a conditional job offer is good for the employer. Sections of this document include: introduction; snapshot of key fair-chance hiring best practices; the benefits of delaying conviction inquiries until a conditional job offer—cost-effectiveness for employers, maintaining public safety, minimizing the influence of negative stereotypes in hiring, increasing clarity in decision-making, effective enforcement, and consistent with federal hiring best practices; and conclusion.