Should employers be banned from asking if job applicants have convicted crimes?

Dec 11, 2013

Job Seekers Attend Job Fair In San Francisco

A job seeker holds a job application during the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitcomb in March 2012 in San Francisco, California.; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim is proposing to eliminate this question of virtually all job applications in San Francisco.  Kim would like to amend the city’s current ban by expanding it to include most private employers, publicly funded housing providers and city contractors.  Already, 10 states and over 50 cities have adopted a version of “ban the box” and more private employers support the ban.   Is disclosure of a criminal history necessary or is it preventing otherwise qualified and competent applicants from earning employment?  How would eliminating this question from the job application process impact those convicted of crimes?  


Elizabeth Milito, Senior Executive Counsel, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)


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