Ban the Box Initiative
The City wholehartedly supports the "Ban the Box" ordinance that ensures equal and equitable access to job opportunities for individuals with prior convictions. The City is committed to removing obstacles that might prevent qualified applicants from attaining or retaining quality employment.
In a joint effort with the New Orleans City Council's Government Affairs Committee, the City worked to create an ordinance that is both enforceable and effective, one that will enhance the ability of the Chief Administrative Office to properly and effectively implement the oridnance.
The initiative created through the ordinance uses a two-pronged approach to create equitable access to employment opportunities:
- City's Internal Hiring Policies: Section 2-13 of the City of Ordinances CAO Policy Memorandum 129 requires that hiring departments conduct interviews of qualified individuals prior to requesting a criminal background check. No job applications submitted prior to interviews shall include any questions or requests related to an applicant's criminal history. If an applicant's criminal history contains information, applicants will have an opportunity to respond and submit evidence that mitigation or rehabilitation has occured since the conviction.
- City's Vendors: Contracts and cooperative endeavor agreements must contain a sworn statement that verifies the City vendor's hiring practices adhere to those established by the City (follows Section 2-8 and Section 2-13 of the City Code of Ordinances).
Both of these measures are authorized to be enforced by the Chief Administrative Office. The Chief Administrative Office will fully staff the Internal Audit Division to oversee complaints from applicants denied employment from the City or from City vendors.
As stated in ordinance, this initiative does not apply to hiring or contracts conducted during an emergency, or for positions in the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB), the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP), or the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center (JJIC).