Fair Chance Hiring Resources for Employers

Our fair chance hiring guides can help employers do their part to advance equity and dismantle systemic barriers.

Working Toward a Good-Jobs Economy

In an era when racial equity and the dismantling of occupational segregation are pressing concerns, initiatives to expand employment opportunities for individuals with records are more critical than ever.

Workers of color are disproportionately impacted by both systemic barriers and occupational segregation. Thousands of individuals with records return to their communities from incarceration annually, a significant portion of whom, due to structural racism, are people of color. By embracing fair chance hiring practices that encourage a diverse and talented workforce, employers can help contribute to a more just and inclusive society.

We invite you to explore our resources and take meaningful steps toward improving your organization’s policies. Together, let’s work toward a good-jobs economy where everyone has a fair chance to support their families and communities through work.

The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Employment Discrimination

Black, Latinx, and Indigenous individuals in particular face unfair record-related barriers to employment because of racial profiling and a legal system that disproportionately criminalizes communities of color.

In total, roughly 80 million people across the U.S. have an arrest or conviction record that can stand between them and employment. These individuals encounter systemic discrimination in the labor market, perpetuating cycles of unemployment and economic instability.

The repercussions extend beyond individuals with records, broadly impacting families across the country, given that nearly half of U.S. children have a parent with a record.

Equity Tools for Employers and Reentry Advocates

For the past 20 years, NELP has researched and advocated for employment policies that expand opportunities for workers with arrest and conviction records. As a leading voice on “ban the box” and fair chance hiring policies, NELP has advised policymakers and advocates across the country. NELP has also worked with employers to provide guidance on fair chance hiring and learn more about employer experiences in this arena.

These resources will help you learn about, develop, and implement fair chance hiring policies in workplaces across the country.

Fair Chance Hiring for Employers Policy Briefs

NELP’s "Fair Chance Hiring for Employers" policy brief series outlines clear steps for equitable hiring practices.

Fair Chance Hiring Employer Toolkits

Our toolkits on hiring workers with records are adaptable across industries.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Guidance for Employers

The EEOC has issued guidance on how to comply with antidiscrimination law while conducting background checks.