Louisiana Weighs ‘Fair Chance’ Employment Bill for People with Criminal Records

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The Louisiana House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations will take up a new bill which would open the door for people with criminal records to get jobs, reports WGNO. The Fair Chance in Hiring Act, HB 480, was introduced by Rep. Matt Willard (New Orleans) in an attempt to open more opportunities of employment for people with criminal records who are often screened out of jobs based on inaccurate blanket background checks or misunderstandings about confusing arrest records. HB 480 aims to redefine how businesses in Louisiana screen out job applicants by directing businesses not to consider arrests that did not result in convictions.

The bill also asks businesses to take into account how recent and the nature of any convictions. Representative Willard is working with business groups like the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) and the Shreveport Black Chamber of Commerce to garner support, as well as a collection of criminal justice reform and worker advocacy groups known as the Fair Chance in Hiring Committee.

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