ban the box

Politics
6:55 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Louisville Metro Council Votes 26-0 to 'Ban the Box'

A supporter urges Metro Council to pass 'ban the box'
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

The Louisville Metro Council unanimously approved the so-called "ban the box" ordinance Thursday after a debate filled with contention and compromise.

Under the measure, people seeking jobs with the city and many of its vendors will no longer have to fill out applications asking if they have a criminal conviction.

Mayor Greg Fischer's office initially said the measure was unnecessary given Metro Government already does not ask about a person's record.

But supporters who held a rally before Thursday's meeting argued the policy needed to be codified into law.

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Politics
8:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Seeks Changes to 'Ban The Box' Ahead of Metro Council Vote

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Threatening a veto, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer's office is proposing a half dozen exemptions to the ban the box ordinance ahead of Metro Council members voting on the proposal Thursday.

The bill prohibits the city and its private contractors from asking about an applicant's conviction history until it has been determined they're qualified for the job.

But the mayor's office has objected to the ordinance on a number of fronts.

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Politics
5:40 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

‘Ban The Box’ Moves Forward in Louisville Despite Fischer Administration's Objections

A Louisville Metro Council committee has approved a measure prohibiting the city and its private contractors from asking about an applicant's criminal history until the job is offered.

But members of Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer's administration joined council Republicans to voice concerns about the bill and its additional burden on local businesses.

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Strange Fruit
2:19 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Strange Fruit: 'Tracking Fire' Documentary Tells Story of Deadly Anti-LGBTQ Attack in 1973

It's one of the deadliest attacks on LGBTQ people in U.S. history - and even if you're an activist or scholar, there's a good chance you've never heard of it.
 

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Politics
6:42 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Fischer Administration Official: 'Ban The Box' Would Complicate Metro Louisville's Hiring Process

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Saying Louisville Metro has a policy not to ask about criminal records on job applications, Metro Human Resources Director Kellie Watson warned council members the so-called "ban the box" ordinance could complicate the city's hiring process.

But supporters believe the legislation is still needed in order to give convicted felons a fair chance when seeking employment.

The council's Labor and Economic Development Committee held its first hearing on the measure Thursday to gather more information about the proposal.

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Politics
3:02 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Louisville Metro Couldn't Ask Job Applicants About Criminal History Under Council Proposal

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An ordinance forbidding the city and its vendors from asking potential employees about their criminal records on job applications is being introduced this week before the Louisville Metro Council.

The legislation is known as "ban the box" and similar measures have passed in 10 states and more than 50 cities across the U.S.

Under the measure, the city and its private contractors would be prohibited from inquiring about an individual's conviction history on a paper application until it is determined they're otherwise qualified for the position.

"Part of being convicted of a crime and serving ones time is punishment enough," says Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, one of the five Democrats sponsoring the bill. "I'm willing to support asking questions about how old they were, how long has it been and have they served their time. I still think there is warrant for asking those questions eventually, but I certainly don't think it needs to be a checkbox on the application. I think it's immediate red flag when it shouldn't be."

Metro Government can still conduct a background check through the Human Resources Department once the job is formally offered, according to the legislation. And the city and vendors are also allowed to consider the nature of the crime, the time elapsed since the conviction and any information pertaining to the person's rehabilitation.

If the city were to reject an application based on their criminal history, the ordinance allows the applicant to appeal within two weeks of the decision.

Bonafacio Aleman is executive director of Kentucky Jobs With Justice and a supporter of the bill. He says many applicants with prior offenses are often disqualified automatically, but they deserve a chance to making a better living

"What’s been found by the Center for Economic and Policy Research report a couple of years ago is folks who have a criminal conviction are 15 to 30 percent less likely to get a job based on the fact of a criminal conviction," he says. "And sometimes the fact is a criminal conviction can be used in a discriminatory manner that goes against fair hiring practices."

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