The Fair Chance Act: Empowering Individuals with Criminal Backgrounds

“If you have the qualifications, skills, and willingness to serve the American public, you deserve a fair chance to compete for employment within the federal government.  America is a nation of second chances and every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

-Kiran Ahuja, The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director

What Is the Fair Chance Act?

The Fair Chance Act, also known as "Ban the Box," is a crucial piece of legislation that has gained traction in the United States. It plays a significant role in addressing the challenges faced by individuals with criminal backgrounds, ultimately promoting fair hiring practices and reintegration into society. 

It is a movement aimed at eliminating the requirement for job applicants to disclose their criminal history during the initial application process. Its primary purpose is to provide individuals with criminal records a fair chance at employment by delaying inquiries about their criminal history until later in the hiring process. In this article, we will explore what the Fair Chance Act is and how it helps people with criminal backgrounds.

How the Fair Chance Act Helps People with Criminal Backgrounds:

Fair Opportunity

1.  The Fair Chance Act allows individuals to be judged based on their qualifications and skills rather than being immediately disqualified due to their criminal history. This change creates a level playing field, giving them a fair opportunity to secure employment.

Reducing Discrimination

2.  By delaying inquiries about criminal history until later in the hiring process, this legislation helps reduce discrimination against those with a criminal record. Employers are encouraged to consider a candidate's qualifications before making judgments based on their past.

Reintegration into Society

3.  Employment is crucial for individuals with criminal backgrounds to successfully reintegrate into society. A job provides stability, financial security, and a sense of purpose, reducing the likelihood of recidivism.

Public Safety

4.  By increasing employment opportunities for individuals with criminal backgrounds, the Fair Chance Act indirectly contributes to public safety. When these individuals find gainful employment, they are less likely to return to criminal activities.

Economic Impact

5.  Facilitating the reintegration of individuals with criminal records into the workforce can have a positive economic impact. It reduces the burden on social services, increases tax revenue, and strengthens families and communities.

The Fair Chance Act, or "Ban the Box," is a critical step toward a more equitable and just society. By giving individuals with criminal backgrounds a fair chance at employment, it promotes their reintegration into society, reduces discrimination, and ultimately benefits communities and the economy. The McCall Organization supports the Fair Chance Act because it aligns with our organization's values; commitment to social equity, and the belief in second chances. By endorsing this legislation, we actively contribute to reducing recidivism, fostering a skilled workforce, and building stronger, more inclusive communities while also promoting ethical leadership and economic growth. Everyone deserves an opportunity to rebuild their lives and contribute positively to society, regardless of their past mistakes. Final Regulation to this Act became effective October 3, 2023. 

This is not legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer if you need help. 

To report a potential Fair Chance Act violation, contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

Phone: 1-800-669-4000

TTY: 1-800-669-6820

ASL Video Phone: 1-844-234-5122



Timothy Curry 


📲 (202) 606–2930, with respect to 5 CFR part 754

Lisa Loss  


📲 (202) 606–7017, with respect to 5 CFR part 731

Mike Gilmore 


📲 (202) 936–3261

 📠(202) 606–4430, 

 TTY at (202) 418–3134 for all other parts.    

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