DeSoto Celebrates a Victory for Workers while Texas Senate Considers Sweeping Preemption Bill

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DeSoto City Council Passes Ban the Box Policy

DESOTO, TX — Tuesday night, in a 6-1 vote, DeSoto City Council approved a Ban-the-Box policy joining the City of Austin, 36 states, and over 150 cities and counties in implementing hiring policies that aim to give everyone a fair chance at employment. “Ban the Box” refers to the policy of removing the conviction history check-box from job applications. If employers must ask about convictions, they can ask later in the hiring process.

“Ban-the-Box is a commonsense policy that aims to remove job barriers for people with records,” said DeSoto City Council Member Candice Quarles. “DeSoto is joining hundreds of other cities and counties in implementing this policy to shift hiring practices so that we focus more on qualifications and less on something that happened in the past. These policies are good for the economy, workers, families, and public safety.”

When asked about Senate Bill 14, the sweeping preemption bill to be heard on the Texas Senate floor today, Quarles said, “In a time when so many are trying to economically recover from this pandemic, we need to find more ways to increase access to work. I’m proud of our City for passing this policy and I hope our State Legislature understands the positive impact this will have for our people. Bills like SB 14 don’t only inhibit local governments, but they punish Texans who are just wanting to get back on their feet.”

Pastor Marcus King, Senior Pastor of Disciple Central Community Church in DeSoto spoke in favor of the policy during the meeting. “No human is Jesus,” said Pastor King. “All who have an offense, have a story. We should give them a fair chance to write a new chapter with Ban-the-Box. They have served their time and we shouldn’t make them serve more.”

More information on Ban-the-Box from the National Employment Law Project is available here.