December 20, 2019

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.”

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