AUSTIN, TX – Today, the Austin City Council Economic Opportunity, Technology, Innovation & Creative Industries Committee will consider and develop a recommendation regarding Fair Chance Hiring Practices, which concerns the use of conviction history in hiring practices by private employers in the City of Austin. Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice Policy Analyst Dianna Muldrow and Center for Local Governance Policy Analyst Allegra Hill issued the following statement on the Fair Chance Hiring Practices proposal:

"Providing reasonable reentry avenues for offenders is very important in lowering recidivism rates, and protecting public safety, however, it is also important to be cautious in change,” said Muldrow. “Fair Chances runs the risk of creating more criminal records, and lowering onerous criminal and civil burdens onto small employers who are simply unaware of new and complex ordinances."

“The City of Austin should not act as the HR department of private companies,” said Hill “It is not the role of government to tell a private company who it can hire, what language it must include in its job postings, how it needs to document its hiring decisions, and how long is must keep a job open. Mandating these details unjustifiably interferes with the market and with economic freedom.

“Furthermore, while the Council is well-intentioned in its aim, enforcing these policies with a criminal penalty goes contrary to the philosophy behind the Fair Chance Hiring initiative. Rather than helping criminals get back on their feet, the ordinance will effectively create criminals out of upstanding businessmen for their failure to follow specific bookkeeping practices.”
For more information or to request an interview with Ms. Muldrow or Ms. Hill, please contact Caroline Espinosa at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.

Dianna Muldrow is a policy analyst with the Center for Effective Justice as the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Allegra Hill is a policy analyst with the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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