Friday, July 11, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

"Ban the Box" Legislation Passes

City Council just gave final passage to legislation that would block most employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal histories until after an initial job interview.

"Ban the Box" Legislation Passes

City Council just gave final passage to legislation that would block most employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal histories until after an initial job interview.

Known as the “ban the box” bill, the measure was sponsored by Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller in the hopes that it would help increase employment opportunities for ex-offenders. Similar legislation has been passed in a number of cities and states, including Chicago, Atlanta and Boston.

"People with criminal records are discriminated against in many ways," Miller said before the 13-4 vote in favor of the bill. "This legislation will promote the capacity of ex-offenders and allow them to take care of themselves and their families."

Under the new rules -- which apply to the city and private employers, but exempt criminal justice agencies like police and prisons -- employers could ask about criminal records and run background checks after the first job interview.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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