City of St. Louis Decides to Ban the Box

Ban the Box Blogs

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Effective immediately, the City of St. Louis will Ban the Box on job applications for employment with the City so they will no longer require job applicants to check a box if they have a felony conviction, according to a press release from the Office of the Mayor Francis Slay available at http://themissouritimes.com/14275/press-release-city-st-louis-bans-box-job-applications/.

“Millions of Americans have been convicted of felonies. Many of them have paid their debt to society and are willing to earn a second chance,” City of St. Louis Mayor Slay stated in the press release about the Ban the Box announcement. “If we automatically disqualify all of them, and none of them can get jobs, we should not be surprised if some of them wind up back behind bars from committing more crimes.”

The City of St. Louis stopped automatically disqualifying applicants who were convicted of felonies in 2013 and now screens applicants who are ex-offenders on a case-by-case basis while considering the nature of the crime, how long ago it occurred, and how it might reflect on the candidate’s qualifications for the specific job. The Ban the Box rule on application forms is the next step to removing employment barriers for people with criminal convictions.

Despite the new Ban the Box rule, certain jobs with the City of St. Louis will continue to be subjected to a criminal background check. “We would not hire a child molester for a recreation program, and we would not hire an embezzler to handle money,” said Mayor Slay. “But, many people who did wrong in the past could become very good employees today. We will make individual assessments instead of blanket exclusions.”

The Ban the Box movement is rapidly spreading across the United States. According to a Ban the Box Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), approximately 70 U.S. cities and counties as well as 13 states have passed Ban the Box legislation. More information about Ban the Box from NELP is available at http://www.nelp.org/page/content/banthebox/.

MORE BAN THE BOX INFORMATION FROM ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers a Ban the Box web page with links to the latest news and information about the Ban the Box movement at http://www.esrcheck.com/Ban-the-Box/. To read more Ban the Box blogs from ESR News, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/ban-the-box/. To learn more about ESR, call Toll Free 888.999.4474 or visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Connect-With-ESR/.