City of York in Pennsylvania Adopts Ban the Box Policy to Help Ex-Offenders Gain Employment

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On May 16, 2018, the York City Council in York, Pennsylvania adopted a new “Ban the Box” hiring policy to give job applicants with criminal records who have served their time an equal opportunity to gain employment, according to a report from WHTM ABC 27 News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“It gets rid of what’s called the box,” council president Henry Nixon told WHTM, referring to the box on job applications that applicants must check if they were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. “This is to avoid the first glance where a possible employer just throws away the application,” he added.

WHTM reports that while York has not had the box on applications in a couple of years, Nixon said it was time to make the practice official with the Ban the Box policy. He said human resources will decide which criminal history can affect certain positions. Jobs such as those involving security would still involve background checks.

While the policy only applies to city jobs, the council is encouraging all businesses in York to Ban the Box. The Ban the Box ordinance would go into effect 20 days after Mayor Michael Helfrich signs it into law. The full story is at www.abc27.com/news/local/york/york-city-council-adopts-fair-chance-hiring-process/1184001115.

“Ban the Box” is a movement seeking to advance job opportunities for people with prior criminal convictions by eliminating any inquiry into the criminal history of candidates on job applications, specifically the check box that requires candidates to disclose their criminal history.

As of May 2018, more than 150 cities and counties have passed Ban the Box legislation. Other cities and counties in Pennsylvania besides York with Ban the Box laws include Allegheny County, Allentown, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Northampton County, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Reading.

In addition, 32 states have Ban the Box laws. In May 2017, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that a Fair Chance Hiring Policy for state agencies would Ban the Box for non-civil service applicants starting July 1, 2017, and would Ban the Box for civil service applicants by December 2017.

ESR Ban the Box Resource Page

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers employers and HR professionals a Ban the Box Resource Page with complimentary whitepapers, infographics, and an interactive map updated with the latest Ban the Box laws for states, counties, and cities in America.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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