Many American companies are missing out on employees who have the potential to transform their perspectives and increase their profits. Specifically, they’re overlooking a significant swath of the U.S. population — the 70 million Americans who have a criminal record. At the same time, the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prisoners and African-Americans are nearly six times & Latinos are nearly twice as likely to be incarcerated than whites.
Given how tight today’s job market is — the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the current unemployment rate is hovering around 3.5% — employers can’t afford to turn away qualified applicants. And because one in three American adults has a criminal record, automatically excluding anyone in this category necessarily means companies are missing out on good people. Is the pet industry missing out on a motivated, high-performing, reliable, personally accountable, teachable, enthusiastic, charismatic, and thankful workforce?
With the passing of the recent Fair Chance Act, the U.S. is joining 35 states and over 150 cities with “ban the box” policies. These policies help remove barriers for people with criminal records during the hiring process by delaying questions about one’s criminal history from the initial part of the hiring process. This is a part of a larger criminal justice trend taking shape across both the public and private sectors. Many organizations and corporations, including Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Google, Facebook, and others, signed on to the Fair Chance Pledge.
Please join The Pet Sustainability Coalition, Defy Ventures, and Earth Animal for an important social justice, human rights, and human resources discussion this June 16th. We will discuss why and how mass incarceration fuels racial and social injustice, Defy's national impact, and how your company can support our overall mission of reducing recidivism and providing economic opportunity to all.