Fair Chance Hiring

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

This public input has concluded.

The Denton City Council is considering the adoption of a Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance and is seeking public feedback.

Fair chance hiring initiatives (also known as “ban the box” initiatives due to their goal of removing criminal history question boxes in job applications) generally refer to a policy or practice of not considering an applicant’s criminal history in an employment application until later in the hiring process. This information is then typically obtained once a conditional offer has been made. Importantly, these initiatives and their related ordinances, do not limit the authority of an employer to withdraw an employment offer for a lawful reason.

The proposed ordinance would generally prohibit employers from the following activities if it results in unlawful discrimination:

  1. Publishing information that states or implies that criminal history is an automatic disqualifier for employment;
  2. Soliciting or otherwise inquiring about criminal history on a job application;
  3. Soliciting criminal history information or considering criminal history prior to a conditional employment offer;
  4. Refusing to consider an applicant because criminal history was not provided prior to a conditional employment offer; or
  5. Taking adverse action against an individual due to criminal history unless the individual is unsuitable for the job based on an individualized assessment.


The proposed ordinance does not prohibit an employer from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history if there are federal or state laws that require a criminal history check. There are laws that disqualify a person from holding a particular position due to a conviction for a certain offense (e.g., child day care facilities, public safety positions, certain financial or insurance positions) or where there is no discriminatory or disparate impact.

The proposed ordinance would be part of the existing Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) and all administrative and enforcement provisions currently applied to NDO complaints would also apply to fair chance hiring complaints. Just as the NDO directs that for complaints where the state or federal government has jurisdiction, those complainants be referred to those entities, fair chance hiring complainants will be referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other applicable agency.

Also similar to the NDO, if a federal or state government does not have jurisdiction, the City will investigate the complaint and determine if discrimination is likely to have occurred. If discrimination is likely to occur, the City will work with the two parties to conciliate the complaint and, if a conciliation agreement cannot be met, the matter may be referred to the City Prosecutor for review and possible issuance of a Class C Misdemeanor citation.

The Denton City Council is considering the adoption of a Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance and is seeking public feedback.

Fair chance hiring initiatives (also known as “ban the box” initiatives due to their goal of removing criminal history question boxes in job applications) generally refer to a policy or practice of not considering an applicant’s criminal history in an employment application until later in the hiring process. This information is then typically obtained once a conditional offer has been made. Importantly, these initiatives and their related ordinances, do not limit the authority of an employer to withdraw an employment offer for a lawful reason.

The proposed ordinance would generally prohibit employers from the following activities if it results in unlawful discrimination:

  1. Publishing information that states or implies that criminal history is an automatic disqualifier for employment;
  2. Soliciting or otherwise inquiring about criminal history on a job application;
  3. Soliciting criminal history information or considering criminal history prior to a conditional employment offer;
  4. Refusing to consider an applicant because criminal history was not provided prior to a conditional employment offer; or
  5. Taking adverse action against an individual due to criminal history unless the individual is unsuitable for the job based on an individualized assessment.


The proposed ordinance does not prohibit an employer from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history if there are federal or state laws that require a criminal history check. There are laws that disqualify a person from holding a particular position due to a conviction for a certain offense (e.g., child day care facilities, public safety positions, certain financial or insurance positions) or where there is no discriminatory or disparate impact.

The proposed ordinance would be part of the existing Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) and all administrative and enforcement provisions currently applied to NDO complaints would also apply to fair chance hiring complaints. Just as the NDO directs that for complaints where the state or federal government has jurisdiction, those complainants be referred to those entities, fair chance hiring complainants will be referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other applicable agency.

Also similar to the NDO, if a federal or state government does not have jurisdiction, the City will investigate the complaint and determine if discrimination is likely to have occurred. If discrimination is likely to occur, the City will work with the two parties to conciliate the complaint and, if a conciliation agreement cannot be met, the matter may be referred to the City Prosecutor for review and possible issuance of a Class C Misdemeanor citation.

Discussions: All (1) Open (1)
  • Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance Feedback

    6 months ago
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    You need to be signed in to add your comment.

    Please provide your thoughts and feedback on the proposed Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance (available under the Important Documents section).

    Also, please check out our Quick Poll to share if you support or do not support the ordinance.