A Temporary Reprieve for D.C. Employers and Landlords
D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams rightly vetoed a bill that would have banned employers from taking applicants’ criminal records into account in hiring, and forced landlords to rent to ex-cons, even in units near their own living quarters. But it was one of his last acts as mayor, and the D.C. Council (which includes the incoming mayor) voted for the bill by a veto-proof 10-to-2 margin. Moreover, the bill was sponsored by William’s predecessor as mayor, Councilman Marion Barry, who himself has a criminal record.
The Washington Post has editorialized against the bill, noting that “under the bill a home health-care agency would have to hire someone who had been freed 10 years ago after serving time for assaulting an elderly woman; a convicted arsonist released from prison 2 1/2 years ago could not be denied an apartment in a five-unit building.”