The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for Effective Justice Greg Glod, J.D., issued the following statement on Representative Paul Workman’s bill, House Bill 577, which would prohibit local “Ban the Box” and “Fair Chance” hiring ordinances. Under the bill, which was introduced today, local entities will be prohibited form enacting a law that prohibits, limits, or regulates a private employer’s ability to look into a prospective employee’s criminal history when considering them for a job. The bill still allows local bodies to enact a law when the company is entering into, or doing business with the local body, such as a public sector position or a contract between a private and public entity.
“We applaud Representative Workman for introducing legislation that will prohibit a local body from enacting legislation that will have a negative impact on private citizens not only of their own local area, but of all Texans,” said Glod. “We have always advocated strongly for reentry programs and policy that help ex-offenders break the cycle of incarceration. However, so called ‘Fair Chance’ hiring practices thrust burdensome regulations on private business while providing no return on public safety or successful reentry. In fact, a large body of research has shown that Fair Chance hiring practices actually hurt the chances that minority groups will be called back for secondary interviews or get positions of employment. Restricting private business in this manner undoubtedly has effects that go beyond the city boundaries in which they have been enacted in Texas and therefore are better to be dealt with at the state level.”