The Dallas City Council is looking to possibly create an ordinance that would prevent private employers in the city from requesting criminal history information on applications, at first. However, background checks may be considered later down the line in the job process.
The ordinance would be implemented in all private companies with 15 or more workers. Non-compliance with the ordinance would result in a fine.
On the other hand, the ordinance wouldn’t apply to the City of Dallas itself. In that instance, criminal history will still be an immediate denial for certain positions.
A law similar to this is already in effect in the City of Desoto. Their chamber of commerce has supported the ordinance’s passing in Dallas.
“Some crimes are worse than others, but everyone deserves a chance to redeem themselves, I personally believe. And I personally haven’t been affected by it, but I know others who have. I think they really do deserve that chance,” stated Jamereian Fininen, an employee at Big Tony’s Cheese Steak restaurant on Hampton Rd., in Desoto. This establishment states that they follow the hiring rule.
People that have been incarcerated before have an increased unemployment rate compared to the general population.
Dallas City Council talked about the plan on Monday, where Councilmember Chad West shared his sentiments.
“As a business owner, I’m still going to want to know before I hire somebody if they have a criminal history or not and what that is. I think I have a duty to my company, my investors, my customers, and other employees to just vet everybody out.” West, himself, owns a car wash company.
Even with all of that, the council hadn’t taken a vote.
“…it’s the details and the wording that matter. I just feel this is the first of good conversations,” said Councilmember Paula Blackmon.
After more revisions and clarifications have been done, Dallas officials will go back to the Quality of Life Committee for a vote.