Ex-Inmates Behind Push for California Employers to ‘Ban the Box’

  Many of the 7 million Californians with a prior arrest or conviction likely can relate to Sandra Johnson’s job hunting experience nearly a decade ago. On every employment application, she checked a box that inquired about criminal history. “It was terribly hard,” the 59-year-old mother and grandmother said of the months she spent seeking work after completing a San Francisco drug treatment program. “I would go and apply and I would never hear back because that box was always … [Read more...]

Ban the Box: Helpful or Harmful?

A criminal record is a major obstacle to employment for formerly incarcerated people. In California, there are hundreds of barriers that hinder employment prospects and economic mobility for those with a criminal record. Additionally, formerly incarcerated people often face stigma and discrimination that can be equally restrictive and daunting. To mitigate these obstacles, in 2014, California voters passed Assembly Bill (AB) 218,o r “Ban the Box” legislation, to reduce these barriers to … [Read more...]

A Plan to Cut Costs and Crime: End Hurdle to Job After Prison

ames White had steeled himself for the moment. But when he got to the question on the job application — Have you ever been convicted of a crime? — he shifted nervously in his seat. If he checked the “yes” box, he would almost certainly not get the job as a hospital janitor. He checked the box. A moment later, a human resources employee looking over his shoulder told him not to bother with the rest of the form. “She said I should stop right there, that there was no need to continue … [Read more...]

Garcetti, Curren Price Ask Employers Not to Reject Formerly Incarcerated

o people with criminal records are not automatically rejected when they apply for jobs, Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price proposed Friday that employers be asked to conduct background checks only after a candidate has been found to be qualified. Price said people who have had trouble with the law are often disqualified before they can even really begin the job application process. That makes it especially difficult for those who've been incarcerated to re-enter society. "Los Angeles … [Read more...]

“Fair Chance” Ordinance Would Remove Felon Question on Job Apps

Los Angeles city councilman has introduced a proposed ordinance to remove the box on job applications that asks applicants if they've committed a felony. Councilman Curren Price has introduced the "Fair Chance Initiative" to help even the playing field for convicted felons. If passed by the council, job applicants wouldn't have to check the felon box. Employers could still ask about their criminal history during a job interview. Mayor Eric Garcetti supports the legislation. "One out of … [Read more...]

Ban The Box Rally — Friday, June 6th

  ALL OF US OR NONE AND OUR ALLIES ARE INTRODUCING A PROPOSAL TO STOP UNNECESSARY BACKGROUND CHECKS. COME AND SHOW THEM IT'S WORTH FIGHTING FOR! Ban The Box Rally & Press Conference 12pm, June 6th 2014 (Friday) LOS ANGELES CITY HALL, 200 NO. SPRING STREET, LA, CA 90012 ALL OF US OR NONE-LOS ANGELES aouon@anewwayoflife.org 323-563-3575 Cosponsors: A New Way of Life Reentry Project ACLU of Southern California Asian American Drug Abuse Program The Center for Living and … [Read more...]

Ban the Box: Voice of the Formerly-Incarcerated and Convicted People

ack in 2003, a group of formerly-incarcerated people got together in San Francisco to share how their criminal history records were putting up barriers in their lives—and how to overcome them. At the top of their long list was jobs. They all experienced the humiliation of confronting the question "Have you been convicted of a crime?" on an employment application and having it thrown away when they checked the box. The experience was—and is—alienating. Their proposed solution was modest, … [Read more...]

“Ban the Box” Helps Forge Strong Labor-Community Alliances

At the National Employment Law Project (NELP),  where we advocate for low-wage and unemployed workers, some of our most inspiring moments have come from being involved in campaigns where labor and the community work together for greater economic justice. The recent passage of AB218 -- Assemblymember Roger Dickinson’s “Ban the Box” bill -- was a shining example of the labor movement working in alliance with the community to expand economic opportunity to people hardest hit by … [Read more...]

Target Bans the Box

Target Drops Criminal History Question from Employment Apps The Target Corporation, one of the nation’s largest employers, will remove questions about criminal history from its job applications nationwide. Mass incarceration in the United States has dramatically increased the number of working-age Americans who have criminal records. In 1991, only 1.8 percent of adults had served time in prison; but by 2007, 1 in every 31 Americans were on probation or parole, in prison, or in jail. … [Read more...]

Justice-Involved Californians Deserve a Second Chance at Success

Applying for a job is tough, particularly in this challenging economic climate. All applicants struggle with intense competition for a select number of positions. Frustration and anxiety are common and understandable emotions. For those Californians with a criminal history, the obstacles for getting employment often appear insurmountable. Job applications often ask individuals to indicate if they have been convicted of a crime. This seemingly disqualifies justice-involved individuals who may … [Read more...]