Tag Archives: ex-offenders

New Georgia Law Helps Ex-Offenders Find Jobs and Protects Employers

Written By Thomas Ahearn

ESR News BlogGeorgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed into law Senate Bill 365 (SB 365) to help rehabilitated offenders successfully re-enter society by removing barriers to employment and making it easier for employers to hire ex-offenders, reduce recidivism and create jobs. The text of SB 365, which also offers protection for employers hiring ex-offenders, is at http://gov.georgia.gov/documents/sb-365. Continue reading

Michigan Ban the Box Bill would Prevent Employers from Asking about Felony Convictions on Job Applications

Legislation under consideration in Michigan – HOUSE BILL No. 4366 – would “Ban the Box” on job applications that employers use to ask applicants about felony convictions with certain exceptions, according to a report on MLive.com. The complete text of HOUSE BILL No. 4366 is available at http://legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/billintroduced/House/htm/2013-HIB-4366.htm. Continue reading

Seattle Ban the Box Ordinance Limiting Use of Criminal Records by Employers Takes Effect November 1

Starting November 1, 2013, employers in Seattle, Washington will need to comply with new “Ban the Box” legislation – Ordinance 124201 – that limits the use criminal history records by employers for employment screening during the initial hiring process. The text of Ordinance 124201, which creates a new ‘Chapter 14.17 The Use of Criminal History in Employment Decisions’ of the Seattle Municipal Code, is available at http://www.clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~archives/Ordinances/Ord_124201.pdf. Continue reading

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Ban the Box Bill to Help Ex-Offenders Seeking Government Jobs

In order to reduce unnecessary barriers to employment for the one in four adult Californians with arrest or conviction records, Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) to ‘Ban the Box’ and prohibit requesting criminal record information on initial employment applications for local and state government jobs. The text of AB 218 is at http://openstates.org/ca/bills/20132014/AB218/. Continue reading

Report Examines Employer Compliance with New EEOC Guidance on Criminal Records Released in 2012

A report from Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia, PA titled ‘EEOC’s Criminal Record Guidance One Year Later: Lessons from the Community’ examines employer compliance with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ‘Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’ released on April 25, 2012. The complete report by Sharon M. Dietrich, Managing Attorney of CLS, is available at http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/1624843/1552763922/name/EEOC%20CHR%20guidance%20one%20year%20later%20-%20policy%20paper.pdf. Continue reading

New Indiana Law Allowing Expungement of Old Criminal Records Takes Effect July 1

A new law in Indiana that takes effect July 1, 2013 – Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1482 – will allow state residents to have certain old criminal records “expunged” or erased by the courts and could create job opportunities for ex-offenders. Signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in May 2013, this “second chance” law applies to both employers based in Indiana and those who hire workers in the state. The full text of the new law is available at http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/HE/HE1482.1.html. Continue reading

New Texas Law Protects Employers Performing Background Checks and Encourages Employment of Ex-Offenders

A new law in Texas – H.B. 1188 – signed by Governor Rick Perry on June 14, 2013 will amend the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code so that “a cause of action may not be brought against an employer, general contractor, premises owner, or other third party solely for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee, based on evidence that the employee has been convicted of an offense.” More information about Texas H.B. 1188, which will become effective on September 1, 2013, is available at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB1188. Continue reading

Seattle City Council Passes Job Assistance Bill Prohibiting Automatic Exclusion of Applicants with Criminal Records

In a unanimous 9-0 vote, the Seattle City Council has passed a Job Assistance Bill to reduce criminal recidivism by providing job assistance to individuals with previous criminal records. Council Bill 117796 will prohibit public and private employers in Seattle from automatically excluding individuals with any arrest or conviction record from consideration for employment. A news release about the passing of the Job Assistance Bill – which will take effect November 1, 2013 if approved by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn as expected – is available at http://www.seattle.gov/news/newsdetail_council.asp?ID=13721. Continue reading

Buffalo Council Bans the Box Asking Job Seekers about Criminal Convictions on Applications

The Common Council in Buffalo, New York has voted to “Ban the Box” and make it illegal for employers in the city to ask job seekers if they have been convicted of crimes on applications, according to a story on The Buffalo News website. The Ban the Box measure now heads to Mayor Byron W. Brown for his signature to become law. Continue reading

Ohio Attorney General to Warn Employers about Criminal Background Check Law

To avoid a false sense of security about job applicants during employment screening, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine plans to warn employers in the state that criminal background checks processed by his office under a new law will only include information about convictions and guilty pleas and will not include arrests and charges that did not result in convictions, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The full AP story is available at http://www.marionstar.com/viewart/20130116/NEWS01/301160002/Ohio-AG-advises-employers-about-background-checks. Continue reading