Legislature to Consider Job Application Measure for Private Business Sector
The Denver Post has reported that a new Colorado legislative initiative has been launched by State Representative Beth McCann to prevent employers in the private sector from including a box on a job application asking about criminal convictions.
This follows a 2012 initiative that prevented most Colorado state departments from requesting criminal information on first application. Both the 2012 initiative and the new private sector version place limitations on the restriction such as special circumstances where a criminal background checks are mandatory due to job requirements and sexual offenses, for example.
In addition, the new initiative, which is being introduced by State Representative Beth McCann, does not prevent businesses from verbally asking the applicant whether they have a felony offense in their background during the initial interview.
Some business groups are opposed to the proposed restriction citing the potential increased costs associated with filling a job position with the absence of a “felony” query box on first applications.
The Community Educational Outreach clients with felony backgrounds are bound to a sound set of protective guidelines to ensure focus in their pursuit of employment. For example, CEO clients cannot possess cell phones, must rely on public transportation for job follow up, must be approved and monitored during job search and so on.
Last year Colorado correction department directives placed some additional restrictions on clients residing in transitional facilities, such as the ICCS facilities where CEO staff partners, as well as other facilities. New guidelines now direct former offenders to perform initial job search on-line, obtaining interviews, which then must be approved.
It has been my experience that once our CEO clients are able to meet with a potential employer face-to-face and demonstrate their abilities as well as to personally explain their past, the rate of success in landing a job is much improved.
Legislative hearings will be conducted soon in Colorado and CEO will be watching the future of the “Ban the Box” initiative.