Dallas: Fair Chance, an ordinance that would forbid private employers from asking job seekers about criminal history, might soon be approved by city leaders

Dallas, Texas – Members of the Dallas City Council are contemplating the introduction of a Fair Chance Act, which would make it illegal for private companies to inquire about applicants’ criminal records during the application process.

After a certain point in the recruiting process, applicants would be permitted to submit to background checks.

The city of Dallas has already implemented this policy for employing a large number of city personnel, with the exception of occupations such as police officer for which having a criminal background is an automatic disqualifier.

Existing legislation in the city of DeSoto applies equally to commercial enterprises run by private individuals.

The guideline is followed at the Big Tony’s Cheese Steak restaurant located on Hampton Road in DeSoto, and the staff members who spoke Monday are in favor of it.

It’s possible that certain crimes are more serious than others, but in my opinion, everyone deserves a second chance no matter what they’ve done. Employee Jamereian Fininen said, “And I personally haven’t been affected by it, but I know others who have, and I think they really do deserve that chance.” Although Jamereian has not been personally impacted by the issue, he knows others who have.

On Monday, members of the Dallas City Council will be considering the plan. Each of them comes from their own unique history.

Chad West, a member of the Council, has stated that he is an owner of car washes.

“As the owner of a company, I’m still going to want to know before I hire anybody if they have a criminal history or not and what that history is,” West said. “It’s just good business.” “I believe that I have a responsibility to my firm, my investors, my customers, and my other employees to just screen everybody out,”

Even though he was serving time for a felony at the time, Adam Bazaldua, Chairman of the City Council Quality of Life Committee, claimed that his father was able to get employment 37 years ago. The committee is currently discussing whether or not to pass the ordinance.

According to Bazaldua, “my family probably would not have had the opportunity that I had if that chance hadn’t been granted to my dad with his past and time in Huntsville.”

Omar Narvaez, a member of the Council, stated that he has a younger brother who is currently serving time for a felony, and he also has another piece of history that compels him to support this reform.

“I used to work for a company as a hiring manager, and in that company, we were taught that if anybody clicked that box, it would automatically be thrown into a ‘no’ pile,” he added. “I found out about this when I was working for that company.”

A man who was arrested for possessing two marijuana joints in his pocket was one of the people applying for the job. According to Narvaez, he insisted on employing the man despite the fact that he had a checkered past, and the man ended up becoming an excellent worker.

Under the terms of the proposed law, it would be mandatory for all Dallas businesses that employ 15 or more people to implement the new policy.

Councilmember Jaynie Schultz stated, “I think this is an incredible chance for us to go toward opening doors against any kind of subjective obstacles.” “I think this is an incredible opportunity for us to progress toward opening doors against any kind of subjective barriers.”

However, the members of the Dallas City Council were not prepared to cast their votes.

According to Paula Blackmon, the proposed fine of $500 for violators may not be sufficient to gain compliance with the law.

“It is important to pay attention to both the specifics and the phrasing. Blackmon stated, “I just feel as though this is the beginning of a healthy conversation.”

In addition, the city of Austin in Texas has a Fair Chance ordinance that applies to private companies.

In the United States, the law is slightly different in more than 150 municipalities and counties, as well as 37 states.

Fininen stated that because everyone deserves the opportunity to improve himself, it ought to be a legal requirement.

The legislation has received support from the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce.

Officials from Dallas have stated that they will go back to the Quality of Life Committee with additional changes and clarity for a vote in the near future.

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