The city council will vote Thursday on whether to eliminate the criminal conviction question on the initial job application for all Austin businesses. The First Chance Ordinance allows those with criminal backgrounds who may otherwise be highly qualified for a job to make it further in the process before their background is considered. It does not, however, eliminate background checks altogether.
The obvious concern of safety risks are not currently at question, however. The Austin Chamber of Commerce’s biggest issues with the ordinance are the way that it’s written and the worry of the cost of time and money, reports KXAN. They are pushing for a delay on the vote so that the public and employers can provide feedback. Council member Greg Casar says there is plenty of support for the ordinance, however, with twelve council members and other city leaders backing the proposal.
Background checks are a particularly hot topic with the current city council. The depth of background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers are up for public vote in May.