Politics

Georgia the Latest State to ‘Ban the Box’ in Hiring Practices

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, at a ceremony announcing a new Mercedes-Benz facility in Georgia, wants to “ban the box” in state hiring. (David Goldman/AP)
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, at a ceremony announcing a new Mercedes-Benz facility in Georgia, wants to “ban the box” in state hiring. (David Goldman/AP)

 

(The Washington Post) – Georgia will no longer require job applicants to disclose their criminal histories on employment forms after Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed an executive order this week aimed at smoothing the reintegration process for former inmates.

Deal’s order  applies only to those seeking work with state agencies. It would prohibit those agencies from using a prior criminal history as an automatic disqualifier for job applicants. Those applicants will have the opportunity to discuss their criminal records in person.

The policy is known as “ban the box,” a reference to employment forms that ask about prior criminal convictions. Georgia is the 14th state to adopt the policy, along with states as diverse as Nebraska, New Mexico, California and Hawaii. Nationally, nearly 100 cities, including Washington, D.C., have adopted the same policy.

Every “ban the box” state has applied the policy to state hiring. Six — Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island and New Jersey — ban questions about prior convictions on job applications for private employment.

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