Excerpted from The SHRM Blog By Roy Maurer

New legislation would encourage states to implement “ban-the-box” policies that prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history before an offer of employment is made.

Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and David Trone, D-Md., introduced the Workforce Justice Act on March 3. It would give states three years to remove from private-sector employment applications the question that asks job seekers to disclose criminal history; noncompliant states would stand to lose criminal justice funding.

The aim of the proposal is to provide job applicants with criminal records a better chance at competing in the labor market. Studies show that people with criminal histories face very high unemployment rates and risk for recidivism. Up to 75 percent of people who were incarcerated remain unemployed one year after release, according to the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
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