Blog

 
     

Austin, Texas Considers Banning the Box for Private Employees

By Michael Klazema on 5/26/2015

Austin, Texas may be the next municipality to extend "ban the box" policies to include private employers. Already, the city of Austin has adopted "ban the box" policies for public positions, removing questions about criminal history from job applications, and delaying the criminal background check until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. However, at this point in time, those policies only affect applicants looking to work for the city in some capacity. New proposals would extend the ordinances so that they would affect anyone applying for a job in the city.

The new resolution is currently under consideration by the Austin City Council. Depending on the council's decision, Austin's city manager could be asked to draft a new city law or ordinance that would effectively "ban the box" within city limits. If that happens, every private employer in Texas's state capital, from restaurants to auto shops and beyond, would be required to remove the "have you ever been convicted of a crime" question from their job applications. Based on the laws already in place for public employers in the city, screening processes would also be changed, with background checks waiting until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

If the Austin City Council does decide to push for banning the box for private employers, it would be considered a huge victory for the fair chance hiring movement. "Ban the box" policies have become increasingly customary for public employment, but they are still rarely enforced for private employers. Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle are a few of the only major cities that have yet taken steps to promote fair chance hiring across all employment lines. In other words, Austin is joining a fairly exclusive (but important) group.

According to Austin's city manager, implementing "ban the box" policies for governmental positions has been beneficial for the city in more ways than one. Not only has it earned Austin points as a proponent of fair and equal hiring, but it has also saved taxpayer money because it has reduced the number of background checks the city is running. Since checks are only run after offers of employment have been made, the city has avoided spending money on applicants who weren't hired. Something similar could happen for private employers in the city if additional "ban the box" legislation is signed into law.

Source: https://www.nelp.org/content/uploads/Ban-the-Box-Fair-Chance-State-and-Local-Guide.pdf

http://impactnews.com/austin-metro/central-austin/private-employers-in-austin-may-not-be-able-to-ask-for-convi/



Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.


  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.