Kentucky Jobs With Justice Executive Director Bonifacio Aleman

Politics
4:17 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Mayor Greg Fischer: Minimum Wage 'Has Not Been a Big Topic’ in Louisville

Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville
Credit File photo

Mayor Greg Fischer is supportive of a gradual increase to the minimum wage, but the Louisville Democrat said today that it hasn't been a major issue locally.

"Obviously there hasn't been any significant increase in decades in that, but frankly it has not been a big topic of conversation in our city," said Fischer. "I would be supportive, however, if it was."

Fischer, attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors, made the comments during an interview with NPR's Here & Now.

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Politics
8:00 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Minimum Wage Hike Hurts 'Minorities and Youth' Job Chances, Rand Paul Says

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking in west Louisville this week, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., warned that a hike to the minimum wage would hurt job opportunities for racial minorities and younger workers.

Paul made the comments at a roundtable discussion with community and business leaders that his office organized to field questions about his Economic Freedom Zones proposal.

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Politics
6:42 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Fischer Administration Official: 'Ban The Box' Would Complicate Metro Louisville's Hiring Process

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Saying Louisville Metro has a policy not to ask about criminal records on job applications, Metro Human Resources Director Kellie Watson warned council members the so-called "ban the box" ordinance could complicate the city's hiring process.

But supporters believe the legislation is still needed in order to give convicted felons a fair chance when seeking employment.

The council's Labor and Economic Development Committee held its first hearing on the measure Thursday to gather more information about the proposal.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Louisville Metro Couldn't Ask Job Applicants About Criminal History Under Council Proposal

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An ordinance forbidding the city and its vendors from asking potential employees about their criminal records on job applications is being introduced this week before the Louisville Metro Council.

The legislation is known as "ban the box" and similar measures have passed in 10 states and more than 50 cities across the U.S.

Under the measure, the city and its private contractors would be prohibited from inquiring about an individual's conviction history on a paper application until it is determined they're otherwise qualified for the position.

"Part of being convicted of a crime and serving ones time is punishment enough," says Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, one of the five Democrats sponsoring the bill. "I'm willing to support asking questions about how old they were, how long has it been and have they served their time. I still think there is warrant for asking those questions eventually, but I certainly don't think it needs to be a checkbox on the application. I think it's immediate red flag when it shouldn't be."

Metro Government can still conduct a background check through the Human Resources Department once the job is formally offered, according to the legislation. And the city and vendors are also allowed to consider the nature of the crime, the time elapsed since the conviction and any information pertaining to the person's rehabilitation.

If the city were to reject an application based on their criminal history, the ordinance allows the applicant to appeal within two weeks of the decision.

Bonafacio Aleman is executive director of Kentucky Jobs With Justice and a supporter of the bill. He says many applicants with prior offenses are often disqualified automatically, but they deserve a chance to making a better living

"What’s been found by the Center for Economic and Policy Research report a couple of years ago is folks who have a criminal conviction are 15 to 30 percent less likely to get a job based on the fact of a criminal conviction," he says. "And sometimes the fact is a criminal conviction can be used in a discriminatory manner that goes against fair hiring practices."

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