McDuffie Releases Statement on Auditor’s Report on Impact of ‘Ban the Box’

McDuffie Releases Statement on Auditor’s Report on Impact of ‘Ban the Box’

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016

Contact: Dionne Calhoun, 202-297-0152, dcalhoun@dccouncil.us

Washington, DC – Today, the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor (ODCA) released a report examining the District’s Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014 (FCRSA), which took effect in December 2014. The law, more commonly known as “Ban the Box”, prevents certain employers located within the District from asking about a job applicant’s criminal record until after a conditional offer of employment is made, and also limits the reasons for which those employers may retract an offer of employment made to a person with a criminal record.

The law is designed to remove unjust barriers to employment and allow returning citizens a fair chance at gainful employment. The report, required by law, evaluates the hiring of applicants with criminal records by employers and the impact of the law on employers 18 months after the law took effect.

The Auditor concludes that many District businesses interviewed support the spirit of the law. There were 417 complaints against employers filed with the District’s Office of Human Rights (OHR) within the first nine months, resulting in 71 monetary settlements split between the complainant and the District. Even so, it was found that a majority of businesses surveyed reported being unfamiliar with the law. Notably, the review found that the law applies to just 25 percent of the businesses surveyed and that a majority of employers reported minimal impact on their hiring processes. The research team also found that District agencies increased the share of positions requiring a background check that have been filled by returning citizens.

In response to the report, Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5), issued the following statement:

“As Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, I believe that successful reintegration of returning citizens into their communities is critical. Employment is repeatedly demonstrated to be one of the most significant barriers to this end. Ban the Box deters businesses from discriminatory hiring practices and provides remedies to those harmed. I appreciate the Auditor’s report and the work of the Office of Human Rights in enforcing the law.

Legislation that I recently introduced – the “Fair Credit History Screening Act of 2015” – complements Ban the Box by prohibiting the consideration of a job applicant’s credit history during the hiring process and restricting employers’ inquiries into an applicant’s credit history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.”

Click here to review the complete report.

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