I am an Employer

Giving people second chances has given me first-rate employees. – Café owner, Minneapolis

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I’ve adopted fair hiring policies that protect my business while avoiding missing out on good workers:

I made background checks make sense for me with a tailored procedure that fits my business.

I banned the box. Last year, I removed the criminal records inquiry from my company’s initial employment application; now I wait till I meet the applicant during the interview to ask about a criminal history. This allows me to base my decision on the whole person – rather than just a single report.

I meet the applicants. We talk about their records to assess the relevance of the offense to the job at hand. I consider how old they were when the offense occurred and what they’ve done to rehabilitate themselves since.

I train my hiring staff to understand the information they’re accessing and to comply with relevant laws, like the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

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For further reading, see the National Employment Law Project’s 65 Million Need Not Apply; Devah Pager’s The Mark of a Criminal Record; and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.

Watch: The House I Live In, The Pull of Gravity, and Broken on All Sides