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Subcommittees Examined Legislation to “Ban the Box”

Mar 14, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Mar.14, 2019)—This week, the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Subcommittee on Government Operations held a joint hearing on “The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act (H.R. 1076).

TAKEAWAYS

  • There is strong bipartisan, bicameral support for criminal justice reform that removes barriers to employment for people who have paid their debt to society.  “Ban the Box” legislation has been adopted in red and blue states across the country—a rare sign of agreement on an issue that transcends partisan politics.
  • The Fair Chance Act prohibits federal employers and contractors from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until after an initial offer of employment, with important exceptions for national security, law enforcement, and positions for which criminal history information is required by law.
  • “Banning the box” increases access to employment for individuals with a criminal record, which in turn reduces recidivism and strengthens families and communities.
  • The Fair Chance Act codifies existing OPM rules for federal employees and extends crucial “Ban the Box” protections to federal contractors.

BACKGROUND

  • Over 70 million Americans—about one in three adults— have criminal histories and are potentially affected by hiring policies that unjustly eliminate them from consideration.
  • “Ban the Box” legislation like the Fair Chance Act has been adopted in 33 states and more than 150 localities around the country.  Companies such as Walmart, Koch Industries, Target, Home Depot, and Bed, Bath & Beyond have embraced Ban the Box policies.  

WITNESSES

 

Panel One

 

The Honorable Ron Johnson

Chairman

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

U.S. Senate

 

The Honorable Cory A. Booker

Senator, New Jersey

U.S. Senate

 

The Honorable Doug Collins

Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary

U.S. House of Representatives

 

Panel Two

 

Holly Harris

Executive Director

Justice Action Network

 

Teresa Y. Hodge

Co-Founder & CEO

R3 Score Technologies, Inc 

 

 

VIDEOS

Watch  and read Chairman Cummings’ opening statement.

Watch and read Chairman Raskin’s opening statement.

Watch and read Chairman Connolly’s opening statement.

Watch Del. Plaskett’s question line.

 

 

116th Congress