As reported by the National Employment Law Project, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have introduced legislation to help prevent discrimination against workers with criminal records. The two companion acts—the Fair Chance Act (S.842/H.R.1905) and the REDEEM Act (S.827/H.R.1906)—between them cover a number of issues “fair chance” advocates claim hamper hiring rates for individuals with criminal records.
The bills, which were introduced in April, are reported to have support that extends beyond their sponsors to include a bipartisan group of congressmen and women. As of this writing, neither has gone to the floor of its respective house of Congress for a vote. However, on May 17, 2017, Rep Cummings’ Fair Chance Act was referred to the House Subcommittee on Readiness.
In 2015, Booker and Cummings, along with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), introduced similar bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the Fair Chance Act, but it was not passed into law. Legislative analytics firm Skopos Labs gives the bills only a two percent chance of passage at the present time. Nevertheless, Barada Associates will be watching them closely. Should the bills, in any form, make it into law, we will update employers regarding the effects the new laws might have on their hiring practices.