Proposed Ban-the-Box Law in Denton, Texas Could Benefit You

Proposed Ban-the-Box Law in Denton, Texas Could Benefit You
December 06, 2023

Denton, Texas, is considering a ban-the-box law, which the City Council will vote on in January. The new law would prohibit discriminatory actions against people with a criminal record. For example, it would prevent employers from discouraging them from applying and stop them from rejecting applicants based on these records. 

Passing the ban-the-box law could improve your chances of obtaining employment if you have a criminal record. It would ban employers from seeing various information that could result in illegal discrimination. However, this depends on whether the City Council passes the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance under review. These activities include: 

  • “Publishing information that states or implies that criminal history is an automatic disqualifier for employment;
  • Soliciting or otherwise inquiring about criminal history on a job application;
  • Soliciting criminal history information or considering criminal history before a conditional employment offer;
  • Refusing to consider an applicant because the applicant did not provide criminal history before a conditional employment offer or
  • Taking adverse action against an individual due to criminal history, unless the individual proves unsuitable for the job based on an individualized assessment.”

This new law would ban employers from asking about your criminal history in most cases. However, there is an exception for situations involving state or federal laws. Employers may inquire about your criminal background when state or federal law requires them to ask about it.

Examples of these laws applying include childcare or public safety jobs. Employers can also inquire about criminal records if doing so would not have a disparate or discriminatory impact. As such, you may encounter employers who ask about your criminal record when applying for some jobs.

Should the new ban-the-box ordinance pass, it will become part of the current Non-Discrimination Ordinance. As such, the city would follow the same procedures for addressing complaints about ordinance violations as existing provisions. These complaints would go to the Equal Opportunity Commission or other federal or state agencies when appropriate. Otherwise, the city would investigate the complaint and try to settle it. If the city fails, the complaint could go to the City Prosecutor for a review and possibly a Class C misdemeanor citation.

This ordinance could benefit Denton residents by improving their job opportunities. However, the ban-the-box law has yet to pass. Before passage, the city will request five feedback sessions. It will also request a public hearing before January’s vote on the ordinance. Anyone interested can provide feedback during these sessions.

Passing the ban-the-box ordinance could improve your chances of obtaining work. For example, it would allow you to convince potential employers of your potential before they learn about your criminal record. Another way to improve your chances is by conducting a self-background check. A self-check allows you to review what potential employers will see. Doing so lets you correct errors in the report and prepare to explain any negative information.

Click here to run a self-background check to prepare for your next job interview.