Councilman: Remove job application crime history question

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Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess today introduced legislation that would remove questions about criminal history from the city's job application.

Often, in the public and private sectors, job applicants are asked to check a box indicating whether they have a criminal record. Mr. Burgess said his "ban the box" legislation is modeled on that of other cities and a handful of states.

The proposal is "not intended to mislead employers or enable ex-offenders to speak untruthfully about their pasts," Mr. Burgess' office said.

Rather, the idea is to delay acknowledgement of criminal offenses until the job interview, "where insight and personal growth can both be freely expressed by ex-offenders. Such communication is vital to those who have changed their lives and now seek employment within their communities."

Mr. Burgess' proposal would "ban the box" from city job applications, but he's hoping other employers follow suit.


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