Council bill would help ex-cons land employment – Metro US

Council bill would help ex-cons land employment

Council bill would help ex-cons land employment
Carlos Llamas

Ex-cons may get a fair chance at finding a job if a new bill before the City Council goes through.

The Fair Chance Act would “block the box” that asks job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime. If passed, the law would prevent any employer in New York City from running a criminal background check only after a job candidate is ready to be hired.

“Prior or past convictions should not prevent someone from being able to put food on the table or pay rent,” said Council member Jumaane Williams, who’s sponsoring the bill.

Discrimination based on past convictions is already illegal and the legislation would force employers to “follow the law,” said Williams.

Carl Stubbs, 63, said he had no idea that when he was released from prison in 1990 after serving a five-year sentence for possession of stolen property conviction that he’d spend the next 25 years “hustling” to make ends meet.

“It took my whole life away,” said Stubbs, who lives on $700 a month in disability payments, and is a community organizer with VOCAL-NY.