Rush Introduces Legislation Calling on States To “Ban the Box”
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) introduced a resolution calling on states to implement “ban the box” legislation, prohibiting employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history in the early stages of their application.
“We should be doing all we can to encourage those who are attempting to move on from their past criminal convictions by finding gainful employment, not erecting barriers for them. It has been shown that when a job applicant discloses a criminal conviction, their chances of being called back for an interview are cut in half,” said Rush. “Immediately inquiring about an applicant’s conviction history can stifle their careers and prevent them from rebuilding their lives. Everyone deserves a second chance to build a productive and law-abiding life, and banning the box is a critical step in ensuring everybody has that chance.
“We must also remember that the racial disparities in our criminal justice system can lead to racial disparities in our unemployment figures. Initially asking job applicants for their criminal histories can only increase these inequalities. I applaud the 13 states that have already implemented legislation banning the box and invite my colleagues to join me in supporting this vital measure.”