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‘Ban the Box’ Law Goes Into Effect Today in Philadelphia

CBS Philadelphia (01/13/12) Dunn, Mike

The so-called “Ban the Box” law restricting the ability of employers to ask applicants about criminal records goes into effect today in Philadelphia. The new law prohibits employers in the city from putting that checkbox on job applications and from asking about ex-offender status during a first interview. Such questions are allowed during a follow-up interview.

Supporters of the idea say the goal is help ex-offenders at least make a good impression before having to spell out a criminal history. Brian Anderson, president of the Judge Group, a computer consulting and staffing firm in West Conshohocken, PA, “think[s] it will be effective, and I think employers will find additional qualified talent that they may not have found in the past.” Anderson says it will particularly help people with minor offenses on their records get a start in their careers. Employers who keep using the checkbox on initial job applications could face $2,000 fines for each violation.