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New York's Big Move to Help Former Convicts Build Better Lives

New legislation will make it harder for employers to discriminate against those looking to start over after past mistakes.

Councilman Jumaane Williams, who cosponsored the bill. Image via Flickr user Michael Fleshman

Although some employers aren’t “supposed to” discriminate against people with criminal backgrounds, the practice is widespread and deeply damaging. Nearly 90 percent of companies use criminal background checks, even though up to a quarter of Americans now have criminal backgrounds. That’s why New York City just passed The Fair Chance Act, a law that will prevent employers from reviewing an applicant’s criminal background until after the hiring offer has been made.

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