skip to content


Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Major U.S. Cities and Counties Adopt Hiring Policies to Remove Unfair Barriers to Employment of People with Criminal Records (NELP)

  • Organization: National Employment Law Project
  • Document Type: Report
  • Date Created: Monday, February 08, 2010
  • Submitted: Monday, February 08, 2010
  • Attachment(s): PDF

Urban areas across the United States (including Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and St. Paul) have limited discrimination in city and county jobs against people with criminal records.
Coincident with increased incarceration in the United States, urban communities are absorbing growing numbers of people with criminal records who are now struggling to find work and become reintegrated into their communities. More cities are tackling this "reentry" challenge by adopting a "smart on crime" agenda which promotes public safety by creating more employment, housing and drug treatment opportunities. In the process, leading cities are re-evaluating local policies that create unnecessary barriers to employment of people with criminal records.
As summarized in this document, a growing number of communities have taken the critical step of removing unfair barriers to employment in their hiring policies by removing the question on their job applications regarding an individual's criminal history, deferring background checks until the later states of the hiring process, and only performing background checks for certain positions.
The document also includes additional resources, like editorials, reports, presentations, and campaign materials related to the National Employment Law Project's "Ban the Box" campaign.

Reentry NetPractice Areas

Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net