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Atlanta Employers – New Fair Chance Initiative Impacting Criminal Records


Atlanta employers need to update their hiring practices effective immediately. Ordinance 22-0-1748 has passed, which amends the City of Atlanta Human Relations Code (Chapter 94 of the City of Atlanta Code of Ordinances) making those with a criminal history a protected class. The Ordinance prohibits discrimination throughout the city to include persons “directly impacted by the criminal legal system in the class of persons who may be aggrieved by alleged discrimination or unlawful practices under the human relations code.”

Prior to making an adverse employment decision, unless a state or federal law prohibits the employer from hiring those with certain convictions, employers must show how the criminal history relates to the position’s responsibilities in accordance with the following considerations:

  1. Whether the applicant committed the offense;
  2. The nature and gravity of the offense;
  3. The time since the offense;
  4. The nature of the job for which the applicant applied.

This policy will be enforced by the Atlanta Human Relations Commission, who will investigate complaints and make recommendations to the Mayor for enforcement.

While the State of Georgia has a Ban the Box policy for public employers, this is the first in the state directed at private employers. For additional information regarding Ban the Box laws impacting private employers, please visit our Resource Library for our Resource Guide for Ban the Box Laws or  contact us.


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