Recent reports are showing that 1 in 4 residents in some parts of California have a criminal record. Some state residents feel that there are too many potential employees who cannot find work because job applications have a pre employment screening box to mark if the applicant has had a prior criminal conviction. As a result, these applicants are unjustly passed over for these open jobs.
A Ban the Box Bill is being presented to the state legislation to eliminate pre employment screening– specifically about up- front criminal record disclosures.
There are two main talking points on both sides of the issue.
The first comes from the employers who say because 1 in 4 have a criminal past, it is necessary to find out up front who does and does not have a conviction. They feel that they have a right to hire the best candidate for the position, even if that means eliminating applicants that may be qualified but have a criminal conviction compared to qualified candidates that don’t.
Still, many employers readily state that they would hire a convicted applicant, depending on what the conviction was for, and what position they had applied for. DUIs and drug charges were viewed as minor offenses compared to theft and violence charges.
Advocates of the bill say that job seekers who have a criminal past are being discriminated against when they disclose their criminal convictions. They feel like the potential employees have already paid their dues for the crimes that they committed and should now be given a clean slate to try and rebuild their lives. By eliminating the pre employment screening requirements on job applications more people will have a better chance of finding work.
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