Pittsburgh City Council passed legislation this afternoon that scraps the portion of the city's job application that asks whether the applicant is a felon.
The so-called "ban the box" bill would also apply to the city's vendors, but not to the police department.
The legislation is meant to give offenders who have paid their dues a fair shot at employment, said Councilman Ricky Burgess, who introduced the bill. It doesn't prohibit the city from checking an applicant's criminal background later, but it would give applicants a chance to explain their criminal record "in the context of a job interview," instead of being written off immediately.
"What it does is make sure that [felons] are not given life sentences ... that they have a fair and equal chance of obtaining a position for which they are qualified," he said.
Moriah Balingit: email@example.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.