Hawaii became the first state to outlaw questions about a job applicants’ criminal background, when it passed a Ban the Box law that applied to public and private employment in 1998. Fifty-three cities and counties and ten states have established some sort of Ban the Box measure since then. Last year alone, eight cities joined those ranks, as did five states, including Minnesota and Rhode Island, which applied the rule to private employers in addition to state agencies.
The sentiment behind seeking this prohibition is steeped in the belief that the mass incarceration system is “broken” and those who have been incarcerated should be given an opportunity to work, especially if they are able bodied and qualified.
So what do you think? Should employers and publicly funded housing agencies be banned from requiring disclosure of applicants’ criminal history?
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