Michigan’s Fair Chance Law

Cities or Counties with a Fair Chance Policy

Source: National Employment Law Project

Genesee County

(Resolution applies to county)

  • Banned the box
  • Background check only after conditional offer of employment

Recognizing that asking about conviction history on job applicants may introduce bias into the hiring process, Genesee County Commissioners voted unanimously to “ban the box.” The new policy, which went into effect on June 1, 2014, requires the County to wait until a conditional offer of employment is to be made before conducting a background check and ensures that applicants be provided an opportunity to discuss the circumstances of his or her conviction history.

Genesee County Resource


Ann Arbor

(Resolution applies to city)

  • Banned the box
  • Background check only after conditional offer of employment
  • Incorporates EEOC criteria in individualized assessment

On May 5, 2014 the Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously to ban the box for city employment. The new resolution declares the City’s policy of not barring employment based on conviction history unless the exclusion is job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity. If the City seeks to deny an applicant based on conviction history, the City must perform an individualized assessment that takes into account the factors recommended by the EEOC.

East Lansing

(Applies to city)

  • Banned the box
  • Background check only for otherwise qualified candidates

Passed unanimously by the City Council on April 15, 2014, East Lansing’s ban the box policy was introduced by Mayor Nathan Triplett. During discussion, Mayor Triplett noted his support of the policy was motivated by the need to “remove unnecessary bias from the pre-screening stage of the (hiring process)” and make East Lansing a model employer in the state.

East Lansing Contact

Nathan Triplett, Mayor

Muskegon County

(Applies to county)

  • Banned the box

Recognizing the need to prioritize employment opportunities for successful re-entry, the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners voted to remove inquiry into criminal history from the written application for all opportunities unless required by local, states, or federal law.

Muskegon County Contact

Chairman Mahoney


(Ordinance applies to city and vendors)

  • Banned the box
  • Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants
  • Policies apply to vendors/contractors doing business with the City

In September 2010, Detroit’s City Council voted unanimously to ban the box on City applications. The amendments to the Detroit City Code prohibit inquires or consideration concerning criminal convictions for City employees until an applicant is interviewed or is found to be otherwise qualified for employment by the City. The ordinance further revises the City’s job application to include a statement that “criminal convictions are not a bar to City employment, provided, that the prior criminal activity is not directly related to the position being sought. As of July, 1, 2012, the City has required business vendors and contractors to remove the conviction history question from job applications.

Detroit Resource

Detroit City Ordinance (Sept. 13, 2010)

Detroit Contact

Council Member Kwame Kenyatta
Detroit City Council


(City manager hiring policy applies to city)

  • Banned the box

In January 2010 the city manager announced the the city would no longer ask about prior criminal history on its applications for employment. This decision came after months of pressure from a newly formed coalition, spearheaded by the Community Workers Center of Kalamazoo and convened by the Michigan Organized Project. Members of the coalition continue to demand similar changes from other local units of government and eventually from the private sector.

Kalamazoo Contact

Michigan Organizing Project