Allow hiring of people with prior convictions at [Company]

Claire Feinberg
Claire Feinberg
Template author
Organizer, designer, political staffer.

Template demand letter

Demand Letters outline the problem you are seeking to address with your campaign. Once demand letters obtain enough signatures, Frank can send your letters to decision makers at your company, protecting your anonymity.

About the template

Remove outdated and prejudicial barriers to employment at your company for applicants with criminal records.

About the author

Claire is an organizer and designer based in Chicago. In the past year and a half she's worked on a mayoral, congressional and presidential race where she helped unionize a top-tier presidential campaign. She believes collective action leads to more informed citizens and a healthier society.

To:[management@company.com]

Context

Our company’s current policy refusing to hire individuals with misdemeanors and felonies on their record contributes to the systemic injustices faced by people who have entered the criminal justice system. Research shows that profiling policies such as this perpetuate “collateral consequences” that negatively impact people’s ability to reenter society; they face long term effects in their ability to earn and grow their wages, find housing or participate in democracy by voting. Given that Black men are disproportionally involved in the criminal justice system, we know that the impact of our company’s policy is also greater on this population. [Company] espouses strong social justice values and supports the advocacy of its employees, but our workplace is less diverse than it could be because of this outdated and unreasonable hiring practice.

Reasoning

Prior criminal convictions have little to no bearing on job performance, so it’s time we focus on hiring people who can fill the specific requirements of the job and stop discriminating on the basis of past convictions. We acknowledge that counter-arguments exist to this policy: In 2016, a study conducted by professors at the University of Michigan and Princeton found that eliminating a company’s ability to inquire about past criminal records slightly increased racial disparities in hiring because employers made racist assumptions about Black candidates and made fewer call-backs to candidates of color. In light of this, we must ensure proactive diversity hiring policies that go beyond inquiring about criminal records and establish strict diversity and inclusion goals.

We are requesting that [Company] ...

Eliminate the inquiry about past criminal record on all [Company] job descriptions Specify on our hiring platform and in all job descriptions that we are equal opportunity employers who do not discriminate against people with past convictions Ensure our hiring protocols hire for diversity of experience and backgrounds

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