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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
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Friday, December 21, 2012
Last week the D.C. Council failed to act on the Returning Citizens Anti-Discrimination Act of 2012, opting instead to adopt a much weaker approach to helping ex-offenders in the city find jobs. If enacted, the Returning Citizens Anti-Discrimination Act would have prohibited employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history until after they make a provisional offer of employment. Employers could then refuse to hire based on a job applicant’s criminal record only if there was a “relevant relationship” between the position sought and the applicant’s record. The act detailed the factors employers should consider, including the facts and circumstances surrounding the criminal history and the extent to which the criminal conduct bore on the applicant’s ability to perform the job. The legislation also would have extended the same protections to those seeking to lease or buy real estate. Many other cities, including Boston and San Francisco, have already adopted similar reforms.