By Christoper Wink, Generocity, 2/12/18
"One of the trickiest parts of rejoining the outside world after spending time in the criminal justice system is finding work.
As the Generocity jobs board has grown, we’ve increasingly recognized the bit role that we can play in contributing to a solution. So we’re thrilled to announce that today a new feature: Employers that meet certain criteria can now feature an icon on their job postings to highlight that they offer a returning citizen-friendly workplace.
This launch follows months of reporting and was largely informed by our work with The Reentry Project, a cross-newsroom solutions journalism initiative spearheaded locally by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky. It’s a clear reminder that community journalism isn’t only done with written articles but can also include simple acts.
The icon itself is a key emoji (), employing a generations-old symbol of removing obstacles that we vetted with several returning citizens.
Organizations will be able to self-select into posting the icon on their job listing, informed by criteria listed below, and we’ll update it and vet its use after following how the system is initially employed.
Informed by the Fair Chance Hiring Practices outlined by the Obama administration and our own reporting, an organization that self-selects as having a returning citizen-friendly workplace must do the following:
Actively communicate in your job descriptions and to your existing staff a commitment to welcoming employees with criminal records.
“Ban the Box” by delaying criminal history questions until the final stage of the hiring process. (Note that in the City of Philadelphia, it is illegal to require job candidates to disclose criminal history older than seven years.)
Formally train human resources personnel on working with applicants and employees with criminal records.
Offer formal training to staff about working with employees with criminal records.
The Fair Chance Hiring Practices pledge also encourages using a “reliable” background check provider to ensure accuracy and hosting and participating in fair chance opportunity job fairs."