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City of Austin Proposes Changes to Applicant Background Checks
Thursday, March 24, 2016 6:55 AM

Today (March 23) at 10 a.m., the City Council of Austin, Texas, will consider a city ordinance that would have a costly and negative effect on credit unions operating in the City of Austin who have 15 or more employees.

The “Fair Chance Hiring” ordinance would not allow an employer to check an applicant’s criminal history until after they had made a conditional offer of employment. The Federal Credit Union Act (§203) prohibits a federally insured credit union from hiring any person convicted of certain crimes. Furthermore, applicants with a criminal history may not qualify for bond coverage and, therefore, would be ineligible for employment.

This ordinance, if passed, could cause credit unions to incur unnecessary costs. Applicants would be negatively affected also, spending time and effort to obtain a job for which they cannot be hired.

The Texas Credit Union Association, working with the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and the Texas Bankers Association, is asking the City of Austin to exempt state and federally chartered financial institutions or to withdraw the proposed ordinance. Credit unions operating in Austin, can click here for contact information for Mayor Steve Adler and Council members (click on individual names to view email address).

Click here for a link to the draft ordinance. A copy of the joint letter sent to the Austin City Council can be found here.

For more information, contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop or Cornerstone Credit Union League SVP of Regulatory Compliance Suzanne Yashewski at 512-853-8516 or syashewski@cornerstoneleague.coop.