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Opportunities remain elusive for job seekers with criminal records

GDOL says nearly half of Guam employers are still non-compliant with Fair Chances Hiring Practice Act

 By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Nearly half of the local employers surveyed by the Guam Department of Labor are still non-compliant with a six-year-old law designed to give ex-convicts the chance to apply for a job and present their qualifications without a criminal record jeopardizing their chances at employment.

The labor agency reminded employers to uphold the requirements of the Fair Chances Hiring Practice Act, which mandates employers with 15 or more employees to follow strict rules regarding the use of arrest and conviction records in their hiring and employment decisions.

Based on data collected from the last five years, of the 142 employers who were inspected, approximately 47 percent were found to be non-compliant.

The law went into effect in February 2018.

“The Fair Chances Hiring Practice law was designed to give everyone a fair chance at getting a job right from the start, regardless of your criminal record. It is against the law to ask a job applicant for their court or police clearance before a job offer is made; doing so may hurt their chances of getting hired,” Labor Director David Dell’Isola said.


“This law went into effect nearly six years ago and despite our efforts to educate the business community and community at large, it’s clear based on the data that many are still unaware of their employment rights," he added.

The law also requires employers to post signage about the FCHPA in a conspicuous area at the workplace. 

A majority of the employers, or 55 percent, were cited for failing to display the FCHPA signage at their workplace, 19 percent did not comply with advertising requirements, and 18 percent continued to seek police and court clearances during the application process. A small number of citations were issued related to documentation, procedures, and withdrawal of conditional job offers. 


The law prohibits employers from requiring a police or court clearance as part of a job application. Employers, however, may request such clearances after making a conditional offer of employment.

The law also prohibits employers from making any inquiry about or requiring the disclosure of an applicant’s arrest record or criminal case that resulted in a dismissal, expungement, sealing or non-conviction.

The labor department said it will work with non-compliant employers and will consider sanctions such as training, retraining and written warnings before imposing monetary fines.

Under the FCHPA, fines may include:

·         Employers with 16 to 30 employees: up to $1,000 per violation  

·        Employers with 31 to 99 employees: up to $2,000 per violation

·        Employers with 100 or more employees, or any Government of Guam agency: up to $4,000 per violation



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