What’s the latest hiring trend? Making it illegal for companies to ask job applicants whether they’ve ever been convicted of a felony. It’s all part of a growing campaign called “Ban the Box," where supporters want to eliminate the checkbox from printed and online job application forms that says: “Check ‘yes’ if you were ever convicted of a felony.”
In a lot of places, they can ask about your criminal past later, during the final interview or after you’ve been offered the job. But one city in California wants to make it illegal to ask about criminal history at any point during the hiring process. The only exceptions would be for jobs that involve working with children, the elderly, or in security and law enforcement. Supporters say it’ll help reduce unemployment and give former convicts a better chance to rebuild their life, once they’ve paid their debt to society. Often if an ex-con can’t find a job, they end up returning to a life of crime.
But critics say eliminating that question is dangerous. They believe that employers have an obligation to protect their customers, their other employees and the company itself and should be able to choose whether they want to hire a convicted felon or not.
So what do you think? Should companies be prevented from asking about someone’s criminal history?