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Getting a job is almost never an easy task.  Sure, some people have pretty good luck when it comes to finding that perfect opening - but, for the rest of us it can be very frustrating.  Now imagine you happen to find the perfect job for your skill set, availability, and salary needs - and they won't even consider you because of run-in you had with the law in your past.

That's the reality for thousands of job seekers in Louisiana right now.  These are folks that have paid their debt to society, and are just trying to move forward in a positive direction with their life.  Even an arrest that didn't end in a conviction could keep a willing and able job seeker from being considered for employment right now in our state.

That could all change thanks to a bill being considered at the capitol.  According to WGNO, New Orleans Rep. Matt Willard has authored a bill that will force employers to change the way they screen potential employees.  The House Bill (HB 480) would direct businesses to stop considering arrests that didn't end in a conviction as a valid reason to kick out someone's application.  It would also urge businesses to consider the reasoning, details, dates behind convictions in order to lessen the rejection those with a record experience when trying to find gainful employment.

Experts point to statistics that show unemployment in the state among those with a criminal record is 5 times higher than the state average.  It's also worth noting that gaining significant employment at a rate of $7 per hour or higher reduces the likelihood of a return to Louisiana's correctional system by 30%.

With the glut of businesses desperately looking for quality employees in the Shreveport - Bossier City area, this could definitely increase the size of the potential employee pool - and get folks who want to work a job that keeps them off of the street.  To say that this measure could solve serval problems at once is a bit of an understatement.

The Louisiana House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations is set to consider the bill, dubbed "The Fair Chance in Hiring Act," today.

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