Section 3. Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
3.01 Harris County and the Harris County Flood Control District provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, or any other protected class in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. No Department Head or employee may fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual, or discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, transfer, leaves of absence, and compensation. Religious discrimination includes failing to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious practices when the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. Nor may any Department Head or employee limit, segregate, or classify employees in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive them of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as employees, because of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, or any other protected class in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.
3.02 FAIR CHANCE POLICY
The County has adopted the Fair Chance Policy giving opportunities to individuals with arrest and/or conviction records to obtain gainful employment. The Fair Chance Policy applies to (1) all departments under the direction of Commissioners Court and (2) the department of any elected or official appointed by an entity other than Commissioners Court who chooses to adopt this policy.
3.021 Positions advertised through Human Resources & Risk Management do not include questions seeking an applicant’s criminal history, unless the position is in a law enforcement department, in which case such information may be solicited.
3.022 Departments shall conduct criminal history checks on applicants only if and after the department has extended a conditional offer of employment to the applicant. However, criminal history checks may be performed at an earlier point in the hiring process for positions in which state or federal law, or County agreements governing access to certain databases, require a criminal history check and/or disqualification of certain applicants based on the results of that check.
3.023 Departments shall not consider an applicant’s records of arrest if not followed by a conviction (unless charges are pending during the criminal history check, in which case it may be considered as indicated by this policy); sealed, dismissed, or expunged convictions; or misdemeanor convictions where no jail sentence can be imposed; and
3.024 Unless the applicant is determined to be unqualified for the position due to state or federal law, or County agreements governing access to certain databases, may only deny an applicant employment based on a prior conviction(s) if the department makes a good faith determination that the conviction(s) is relevant to the position such that its consideration is appropriate and, then, only after an individualized assessment of the applicant’s situation that leads to a determination that the applicant is no longer deemed suitable for the position.
3.025 If a criminal history check yields information that is of concern to the hiring department, the applicant will be informed of the conviction(s) that are the basis for concern and be provided an opportunity to present information regarding inaccuracy, mitigating circumstances, and rehabilitation; the applicant’s situation will then be assessed on an individualized basis, unless, again, the applicant is ineligible due to state or federal law, or County agreements governing access to certain databases.