Monday, June 29, 2015

'Banning the box' doesn't go far enough (OPINION)

Recently, the Oregon Senate approved the "ban the box" House Bill 3025. It's unfortunate that the law will ultimately not accomplish that much in getting ex-offenders hired because "banning the box" — the popular movement to prevent companies from asking on a job application whether you've ever been convicted of a crime — doesn't go far enough...

...companies still refuse to hire ex-offenders when they learn about records; research from the Bureau of Justice Statistics says that just 12.5 percent of employers say they would definitely accept an application from someone with a criminal history.
All this shows how woefully insufficient the "ban the box" movement is — a bandwagon on which 16 states and 100 cities and counties have already jumped, disallowing public employers from asking about criminal convictions on a job application.

The theory of "ban the box" legislation was to force employers to view candidates through a lens unclouded with their criminal histories. Only once a business decides it wants to hire the candidate can it inquire about felony convictions. Then the employer typically preserves the absolute right to rescind the offer of employment if the criminal record is "job related and consistent with business necessity."


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