Local government screening restrictions are unsafe and often unconstitutional

There is a small but disturbing trend in local governments limiting or banning the use of criminal history searches in rental screening. We are seeing this play out in Oakland and Berkeley in California; Portland, Oregon; Cook County in Illinois; Minneapolis; and Detroit. These cities and one county follow a Seattle ordinance that was called “groundbreaking”. While these laws or proposals are novel, they are also… Continue reading Local government screening restrictions are unsafe and often unconstitutional

San Francisco updates Fair Chance notice

Under 2018 amendments, the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO) requires employers to follow strict rules regarding applicants’ and employees’ arrest and conviction record(s) and related information.  Employers with 5 or more employees (total worldwide) and City contractors had obligations and prohibitions on considering the criminal history of an applicant.  Additional information about the FCO… Continue reading San Francisco updates Fair Chance notice

More Evidence That “Ban the Box” Laws Don’t Work

A blog posting by Walter Olsen, a senior fellow at Cato, continues a small but impactful line of research critical of the purported benefits of ban-the-box laws.  CDIA does not necessarily oppose ban-the-box proposals if they are thoughtful and limited.  That includes not pushing the criminal check too deep in to the search process.

Caps on rental application fees continue

Over CDIA’s objections and attempts to amend the legislation, Colorado passed, in 2019, the Rental Application Fairness Act (H.B. 19-1106).  In general, the law prohibits a landlord from charging “a prospective tenant a rental application fee unless the landlord uses the entire amount of the fee to cover the landlord’s costs in processing the rental application.… Continue reading Caps on rental application fees continue

Akron should change its rule change

CDIA recently sent a letter to the court administrator of the Akron Municipal Court regarding Local Rule No. 39, motion to seal eviction record.  This new rule would make several changes to eviction records in Akron, which has the highest eviction rate in Ohio, aimed at easing the process for evictees to seal their eviction… Continue reading Akron should change its rule change

The injustice of the Cook County Just Housing Ordinance

On April 25, 2019, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed an amendment (Ord. No. 19-2394) to § 42-38 of the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance (“Ordinance”) to (1) prohibit housing discrimination based on individual’s covered criminal history, and (2) require housing providers to perform an individualized assessment of an otherwise qualified individual’s criminal conviction history… Continue reading The injustice of the Cook County Just Housing Ordinance

U.S. judge OKs $562K settlement of class-action lawsuit over inaccurate criminal background checks

As reported by the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Judge Yvette Kane of the Middle District of Pennsylvania has approved a “$562,500 settlement of a class-action lawsuit against a company accused of providing prospective employers with inaccurate criminal background checks.”  The story adds that “[m]ost of the money from the settlement…will result in payments of $333… Continue reading U.S. judge OKs $562K settlement of class-action lawsuit over inaccurate criminal background checks

Landlords say new rules could actually exacerbate evictions in Akron

There is a troubling proposal in Akron from judges in that city who are set to vote Jan. 17 on new rules requiring more accountability for landlords and allowing tenants with a clean record to seal 3-year-old cases. As reported in the the Akron Beacon Journal The rule changes would let judges immediately seal certain cases,… Continue reading Landlords say new rules could actually exacerbate evictions in Akron