WFP Celebrates Passage of Fair Chance Act in NYC

20150610_114901-3

As the NY Daily News reports, the NYC Fair Chance Act overwhelmingly passed the City Council on Monday, June 8th. The so-called ‘Ban the Box’ bill would prevent private sector employers from asking applicants about their criminal records until an offer has been extended. The bill stands to have a big impact in reducing employment discrimination and helping reintegrate former prisoners back into society.

Fair Chance ActIn a celebration of the passage of this bill, WFP joined with the Fair Chance NYC coalition, including VOCAL-NY, the National Employment Law Project, the Community Service Society, 32BJ SEIU, and Faith in New York, and Piper Kerman, author of ‘Orange is the New Black’, among others.

Bill Lipton, state director of the Working Families Party responded to the victory:

“Working Families commends the New York City Council for seeking to repair lives and communities by passing ban-the-box legislation. It’s just plain wrong to sentence formerly incarcerated people to a lifetime of unemployment. This legislation will change the lives for hundreds of thousands New Yorkers and their families by giving them a fair chance in the job market. Today’s vote only furthers the New York City Council’s already impressive record of fighting for working families.”

City Councilman and Progressive Caucus Member Jumaane Williams, who sponsored the bill, said:

“Having a past conviction obviously should not prevent someone from being able to put food on the table or pay rent…We want to make sure that people feel hopeful. They’ve paid their dues to society. We need to provide a pathway for them.”