WASHINGTON – US Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), Thom Tillis (RN.C.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) reintroduced the bipartisan Fair Employment in Banking Act to reducing recruitment barriers across the financial services sector. The legislation would ensure that highly qualified individuals with minor arrest or conviction records are not barred from working in the financial services industry, and expand the previously introduced Fair Employment in Banking Act to include credit unions.
“Americans with minor arrest records or prior convictions often face significant barriers to re-entering the workforce, holding them and their families back and depriving employers of potential talent,” said Senator Coons. “The Fair Employment Banking Act gives deserving Americans a second chance to find good-paying jobs in a robust industry while ensuring Delaware’s banking sector can hire and support high-quality workers. I look forward to working with Senator Manchin and our colleagues in Congress to advance this bill into law.”
“The drug epidemic continues to plague West Virginia, and many West Virginians have criminal records related to this epidemic. Even for highly qualified individuals, criminal records make it difficult to obtain well-paying, long-term employment, complicating their efforts to reintegrate themselves into society. I am proud to join my bipartisan colleagues to reintroduce the Fair Hiring in Banking Act to reduce hiring barriers in the financial services sector, including for credit unions, and help those who have served their time become contributing members of their communities,” said Senator Manchin. “I encourage all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this important legislation and I will continue my bipartisan efforts to get our bill signed into law.”
“Many Americans have difficulty reintegrating into the workforce and the broader community after a minor criminal offense,” said Senator Tillis. “This bipartisan legislation makes common sense reforms to promote good-paying job opportunities in the financial services industry for those looking for a second chance.”
“Blocking Americans from high-paying jobs after they’ve served time or received treatment only makes it harder for them to re-enter their communities and support themselves and their families. This bipartisan legislation will help remove barriers for those with little records that prevent highly qualified workers from getting jobs – and help ensure Marylanders receive the second chance they deserve to succeed.” said Senator Van Hollen.
The bipartisan Fair Hiring in Banking Act would replace a lifetime ban on working in the financial services sector with a seven-year waiting period for individuals with a minor criminal record. In addition, it would create an exception for acts committed before the age of 21 and at least 30 months before employment and clarify that individuals with criminal records that are expunged, sealed or pardoned no longer need to obtain the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) exemption before getting a job.
“This legislation will expand employment opportunities and give a second chance to individuals who want to get over the petty crimes that are too often a deterrent. Recruiting employees and retaining talent is an important priority, especially for credit unions to continually seek employees who are committed to making a credit union difference,” said Jim Nussle, President and CEO of the National Association of Credit Unions. “Thank you to Senators Manchin, Tillis, Coons, and Van Hollen for their bipartisan leadership on this issue.”
“It’s a win-win for the country and for the bank when rehabilitated people can achieve well-paying banking jobs that give them a second chance at economic advancement. We support this bill, which will clear the path to banking jobs for people with poor records. Thank you to Senators Manchin, Tillis, Coons, and Van Hollen for bringing this important issue to the fore,” said Greg Baer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank Policy Institute.
The full text of the bill is available here.