ACLU Statement on Signing of the Fair Chance Act

December 20, 2019 1:00 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

WASHINGTON — Today, President Donald Trump is expected to sign the Fair Chance Act into law, legislation that bans the box that employers use to ask about arrest and conviction history on job applications and requires that federal agencies and contractors subject a prospective employee to a criminal background check only after a conditional job offer is made.

Kanya Bennett, senior legislative counsel with the ACLU, highlighted the impact that the legislation will have on people with criminal records in the following statement:

“More than 70 million people in the United States have an arrest or conviction record that shows up in a criminal background check. This forces one in three prospective employees to check the box when applying for jobs. Today’s enactment of the Fair Chance Act will change that for those seeking employment with the country’s largest employer, the federal government.

The Fair Chance Act bans the box at the federal level, eliminating a significant obstacle to employment faced by those reentering society from our broken criminal legal system. Fair chance hiring practices ensure that all people have the opportunity to invest in themselves, their families, and their communities.”

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The latest in Smart Justice

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Smart Justice

Smart Justice issue image

The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to challenge racism in the criminal legal system.