Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney, Hastings – Introduce Resolution Encouraging Fair Hiring Practices

Jan 31, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) teamed up in introducing a resolution which will encourage fair hiring practices to provide minorities with a fair opportunity to participate.

The House Resolution is modeled after a successful National Football League (NFL) policy known as “The Rooney Rule.” The Rooney Rule, formulated by Daniel Rooney – uncle of Congressman Rooney and chairman of the Pittsburg Steelers football team – requires each NFL team with a job opening for a coach or general manager position to interview at least one minority candidate for that position. Established in the NFL in 2003, the purpose of this rule was to ensure that minority coaches, especially African Americans, would be considered for high level coaching positions. After its implementation, the percentage of African American coaches in the NFL rose from 6% to 22% as a result of the rule.

Similarly to that of the NFL, the House Resolution would “encourage the development of best business practices to fully utilize the potential of the United States.” The resolution states that the House encourages each corporate, academic and social entity, regardless of size or field of operation to:

  • First, develop an internal rule modeled after a successful business practice, such as the Rooney Rule, in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and;
  • Second, to institute this rule to make sure that the entity will always consider candidates from underrepresented populations before making final hiring decisions.

The resolution does not create or alter federal law, it simply encourages corporate, academic and social entities to develop internal rules similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule. This resolution is non-binding and is not something that will be sent to the President. The intention is meant to inspire companies to widen their pool of job applicants, but it is does not mandate quotas or regulations on whom a business interviews or hires.

“The success we have seen from the Rooney Rule in the NFL is evidence that people of all genders, colors, and physical abilities can achieve excellence when given the chance,” Congressman Rooney said. “We hope this resolution encourages the private sector to emulate the policy and put into place their own voluntary initiatives for a more diverse pool of applicants for senior and leadership positions.”

“It is important that we continue working to ensure a level playing field for minorities and underrepresented groups in companies and organizations across the country. I am pleased to join with Congressman Tom Rooney in introducing this bipartisan resolution.  Furthermore, I also want to thank Senator Tim Scott for introducing the companion resolution in the Senate, and for his steadfast commitment of moving this critically important issue forward.  It is my sincere hope that we will see swift passage of this measure in both chambers,” said Congressman Alcee L. Hastings.

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has introduced the companion resolution in the Senate. Scott was joined by cosponsors Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).