Excerpted from NOLA blog by Beau Evans, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

New Orleans officials are poised to give an update on implementation of a new “ban the box” measure approved last year that bars the city from running criminal background checks on jobseekers before conducting interviews. The measure, which took effect March 1, also bars city contractors from asking about criminal convictions in initial job applications.

Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montano’s office is expected to brief New Orleans City Council members on the city’s progress toward implementing the ban-the-box measure at a committee meeting Tuesday (March 26). Per the measure, Montano’s office is required to submit an annual audit of the city’s hiring practices each year to make sure the rules are being observed.

Passed last October by the City Council, the measure requires city employers to hold interviews first before checking a jobseeker’s criminal history. The measure codified an existing policy on background checks the chief administrative office has followed since 2014, according to Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, who proposed the ordinance last year.

Under the ban-the-box rules, city job applications cannot ask whether a person has been convicted of a crime. Finalists for a job also have a chance to file evidence to dispute a hiring denial if the decision was made based on “information (that) is inaccurate or that mitigation or rehabilitation has occurred since the conviction.”

The City Council’s measure last year followed approval of ban-the-box legislation in 2016 that blocked state employers from asking about criminal histories before job interviews.

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