Nineteen companies joined President Obama as founding companies of the White House’s Fair Chance Business Pledge. According to the White House Fact Sheet, “The pledge represents a call-to-action for all members of the private sector to improve their communities by eliminating barriers for those with a criminal record and creating a pathway for a second chance.”
Companies signing the pledge include: American Airlines, Busboys and Poets, The Coca-Cola Company, Facebook, Georgia Pacific, Google, Greyston Bakery, The Hershey Company, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, Koch Industries, Libra Group, PepsiCo, Prudential, Starbucks, Uber, Under Amour/Plank Industries, Unilever and Xerox.
Those signing the pledge are agreeing to:
- “Voicing strong support for economic opportunity for all, including the approximately 70 million Americans who have some form of a criminal record.
- Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to take action to reduce barriers to a fair shot at a second chance, including practices like “banning the box” by delaying criminal history questions until later in the hiring process; ensuring that information regarding an applicant’s criminal record is considered in proper context; and engaging in hiring practices that do not unnecessarily place jobs out of reach for those with criminal records.
- Setting an example for their peers. Today’s announcement is only the beginning. Later this year, the Obama Administration will release a second round of pledges, with a goal of mobilizing more companies and organizations to join the Fair Chance Business Pledge.”
This is part of a larger initiative by the President targeting reforms to the criminal justice system and re-entry of ex-offenders into society. A rule is expected this year from the Office of Personnel Management regarding federal employment and removal of the criminal history question on job applications. In essence, a federal Ban the Box measure.