Anyone know anything about this bill

Today around noon the DC Council is looking at the “Human Rights for Ex-Offenders Amendment Act of 2009”, Bill 18-0136. According to the Council’s agenda it is:

To amend the Human Rights Act of 1977 to prohibit employment, housing, and educational discrimination based upon arrest record, or conviction record, with certain exceptions based on the relationship of the arrest or conviction to the position sought, lack of knowledge of the conviction, reliance upon an authorized certification, a record of violent crimes, or positions specifically exempt.

The DCGOP is looking at it from an employer standpoint. I’m comcerned about it from a residential and landlord standpoint, as I know several people who rent out their basement apartments, and when they bother to do a background check past criminal activity is one of those things. I believe it should be at the owners descretion.

2 thoughts on “Anyone know anything about this bill”

  1. well, it does note (on p6 of the pdf) that it won't apply to subleasing property, so that might cover you.

    Also, I haven't looked up the law that this amends, but most anti-discrimination laws for housing carve out an exception for landlords who only own a few places (I believe the federal fair housing act only applies to those who rent out more than 4 units…it's the so-called "Mrs. Murphy exception") so the DC one probably does, too.

    Finally, I imagine that there'll be some sort of exception for the DC housing authority, because there are federal laws that allow them to look at convictions…but it looks like DCHA would be allowed to opt out of a lot of the screening if it chose to. So who knows on that.

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