Austin’s Newly-Instituted “Ban the Box” Ordinance: A Deeper Look
The Austin City Council recently passed the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, which took effect on April 4, 2016. This ordinance stipulates that for certain covered jobs, an employer may not inquire about an applicant’s criminal history during the application process, solicit criminal history information about said individual, or disqualify said individual from getting a job if they did not disclose pertinent information about their criminal history.
This recent Austin ordinance is modeled after the United States’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2012 three-factor screening process, and requires that employers evaluate the “nature and gravity” of an applicant’s past criminal offenses, evaluate the amount of time that has past since the incident and any penalties served, and whether any past offenses could bear on the position for which the individual is applying.
Employers that violate the new law and continue to violate the ordinance 10 business days after receiving written notice from the city of Austin will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 per violation.
If you are dealing with any employment law issues, including but not limited to wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or unfair hiring practices, you need experienced legal assistance on your side. Learn more about what our Austin employment lawyers can do to help you by contacting The Melton Law Firm at (512) 330-0017.