In November, the Austin City Council’s Economic Opportunity Committee voted to move forward with the “Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance”.
If passed by the City Council (probably sometime in early 2016), Austin employers with 10 or more employees would only be able to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history after a written or verbal conditional offer of employment is made. This means the employer would need to remove questions regarding criminal history from all application forms. Smaller companies would not be covered by the ordinance.
Similar to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), the proposed ordinance would require employers to notify an applicant of any adverse action and indicate if they were not hired because of their criminal background. Violators would face a $250 fine per each violation. Any subsequent infraction would result in a $500 fine.
View the proposed ordinance here.
The current FCRA rules for employers taking adverse action based on criminal background checks can be found here.
If you have any questions about the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process, a GDHM Employment Lawyer can help you.
For more employment law related information, please visit GDHM’s Employment Blog, InTandem.
Notice: We are providing this client alert as a commentary on current legal issues, and it should not be considered legal advice, which depends on the facts of each situation. Receipt of this client alert does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The listed attorneys and / or other attorneys may provide services in connection with a particular matter.