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Workman looks to bring back “the box”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

State Rep. Paul Workman’s (Austin) bid to block and undo local Fair Chance Hiring measures did not go unnoticed at City Hall yesterday. HB 577, which was filed by Workman yesterday, would prevent local municipalities from adopting or enforcing “any ordinance or other local regulation that prohibits, limits, or otherwise regulates a private employer’s ability to request, consider, or take employment action based on the criminal history record information of an applicant or employee.” That is in direct contradiction to the “Ban the Box” Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance approved by City Council in March, and the resolution’s sponsor, Council Member Greg Casar, responded to the filing in a statement to the press. “It’s disappointing, but not surprising, to see yet again that corporate special interests at our State Capitol are trying to take away local governments’ ability to promote economic opportunity and public safety,” he said. “HB 577 proves that yet again Texas lawmakers would rather spend their time preventing local governments from creating economic opportunity rather than doing something about it themselves. Too many hardworking and qualified individuals in our community are unable to find employment because they are judged solely on their conviction history, rather than their potential.” Council Member Ellen Troxclair, who voted against the ordinance, stood in support of the bill at a press conference held by Workman on Monday.

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