One in three Americans have some type of criminal record. A criminal record can cause a lifelong battle in regards to securing employment or housing.
A simple question located on an employment application often hinders applicants. “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?” Checking the box “YES” almost instantly disqualifies applicants from a true chance at the job.
When the U.S. economy crashed in approximately 2008, it became increasingly harder for applicants with criminal records to obtain employment. Without employment, the past offenders were more likely to re-offend, creating a larger issue overall.
Every applicant deserves a fair chance for employment based on skills and qualifications. Civil rights groups and advocates pushed for employers to give ex-offenders a fair chance by banning the box (questions about criminal record) on employment applications. This allowed the employer to view the qualifications of the individual before knowing about their criminal record, providing more opportunity for applicant to be considered for the position.
Discrimination in any form is wrong, and President Obama is making it easier for past offenders to have a chance. An executive order by the President, directed federal agencies to “ban the box” on federal job applications. The employer cannot ask about criminal offenses until after an interview.
At the moment, 18 states and over 100 cities and counties have signed in similar bills allowing the ex-offender a fair chance at employment and rehabilitation.
Want to learn more about ban the box?