Recently, Councilmember Tommy Wells introduced the “Fair Criminal Record Screening Act of 2014.” This bill, commonly referred to as “Ban the Box”, would prohibit employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s prior convictions before a conditional offer of employment is given to the applicant. Employers would no longer be able to ask about an applicant’s conviction history on any employment application or during an interview. Once an offer is made, the employer may run a background check on the applicant, and may only withdraw an offer of employment for a legitimate business reason.
Recognizing the impact that this may have on Members, HAWDC has been in communication with Council Members expressing our concerns. The Association recognizes that returning citizens that have paid their debt to society should be afforded the opportunity to find meaningful and gainful employment. However, the Council must balance this need for employment with an employer’s right to efficiently execute its business model. HAWDC will continue our discussions with Council Members and will update our Members accordingly.