I remember way back my freshman year, WesPrep was petitioning to “Ban the Box” in Connecticut – that is, to not allow employers the “Do you have a criminal record?” question on job applications. According to a Friday New York Times article, it looks like that might happen, at least in New Haven:
On job applications for city jobs and jobs with city contractors, applicants must now check a box to indicate they have a criminal record. The human services committee of the Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a proposal two weeks ago to remove the box on the job applications, and on Tuesday the full board will vote on the matter.
If the proposal is approved, New Haven will join other cities, including San Francisco, Baltimore and Minneapolis, that have voted to remove the question on their job applications. Proponents of the move say that people who have done their time deserve jobs, too, and the current job application question usually means they are dismissed out of hand no matter what their skills.
If implemented, the question about past criminal history would be moved to the end of the job application process, Ms. Matos said. Only after an applicant is interviewed and given a conditional offer of employment would a criminal background check take place. If a person is found to have a criminal history, and are then not hired, they would be given the chance to offer a rebuttal.
As many as 25 formerly incarcerated people are released in New Haven every week, according to the state Department of Correction.