Ordinance to help convicted criminals get hired passed through Metro Council
BATON ROUGE - After deferring the Fair Chance Ordinance two weeks ago, the ordinance passed through the Metro Council by 7-5.
The ordinance aims to help convicted criminals get a job with contractors in the City-Parish by stopping employers from asking potential hires about their criminal record until a proper assessment of their skills.
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome sent the following statement Wednesday evening:
Individuals who have criminal backgrounds should not automatically be disqualified from employment opportunities, but instead given a fair chance to be considered based on their skills, qualifications, and potential. By providing individuals with a pathway to employment and business, we can reduce recidivism rates, strengthen our economy, and promote equity and justice in our community.
By embracing Fair Chance Hiring policies, we are creating a more just and equitable society while sending a clear message that we value diversity, inclusivity, second chances and opportunity for all in Baton Rouge. Fair Chance Hiring is an important step in that direction.
The ordinance was proposed by Councilwoman Chauna Banks, who told WBRZ the ordinance will help several convicted criminals in Baton Rouge who have done their time, gain employment.
"By putting it into law, you're putting it right there, that there can not be an opportunity to have explicit bias," Banks said.
Councilman Dwight Hudson was concerned that this ordinance would unfairly burden city contractors.
"It compels them to operate in ways that they wouldn't normally operate. In order to contract with the City-Parish, they are going to have to change their policies and procedures," Hudson told WBRZ.
Councilman Aaron Moak also had concerns about the ordinance. He initially wanted to defer the item again, but instead voted in favor of the ordinance. His vote allowed the ordinance to pass.
Banks says she is "thankful" for Moak's support.
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