Georgia's Fair Chance Law
Source: National Employment Law Project
Georgia Executive Order (2015) – Applies to state employment
As the first state in the Deep South to create and implement fair hiring policies, it’s fitting that Georgia also adopt a fair hiring process that removes the initial questioning of criminal backgrounds on state job applications. An executive order by Governor Nathan Deal was signed into law on February 23, 2015. The law required the removal of questions related to an applicant’s criminal history from state employment applications during the initial stage of hiring. Specifically, the law states that inquiries into an applicant’s criminal record cannot occur at the onset of apply for a job, but rather after the initial stage of the application process.
The law went further in specifically prohibiting the use of a person’s criminal record as an automatic bar to hiring. It also states that the applicant has the right to dispute any disqualifying convictions based on the accuracy of the claims and its relevance. This indicates that the state must provide information about why the applicant wasn’t hired if criminal records were used as a decision-making factor. The law does have some limitations here in that sensitive government positions” are exempt.
Commentary: The new law was supported by a variety of advocacy groups. This includes the Atlantians Building Leadership for Employment group, The Georgia Justice Project, 9 to 5 Atlanta, and several faith-based organizations. These groups helped to implement the new law and offered insight into banning the box for state employment applications. The move makes Georgia the 14th state to put in place fair chance policies.