Representative Hansen Clarke (D-MI) has introduced H.R. 6220 which would “prohibit an employer from inquiring whether an applicant for employment has been convicted of a criminal offense, except in two circumstances: a conditional offer of employment has been made, or the job involves an unreasonable risk to the safety of specific individuals or to the general public.” Titled “Ban the Box Act,” if passed into law, employees covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will have the same powers, procedures, and remedies available to them for violations of this bill.
Supporters of H.R. 6220 say this legislation will prevent employers from automatically disqualifying applicants because of their criminal records. Convicted criminals will have a better opportunity to get employment and not be forced to return to a life of crime to survive.
In recent years, the state of Massachusetts and the city of Philadelphia have passed “ban the box” laws that limit an employers’ ability to inquire about an applicant’s criminal background.
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