Lawmakers Urge Administration to ‘Ban the Box’
Last week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and 50 other House members issued a letter to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regarding “fair chance hiring” in government and to continue to ease hiring for formerly-incarcerated individuals.
The letter specifically cites the “ban the box” policy, which refers to a box on job applications that requires individuals to disclose past criminal records, and asked OPM to follow the 2012 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance, which urges employers to use a “targeted screen” that prevents the discrimination of an applicant due to a criminal record.
In November, President Obama directed OPM to “take action where it can” to delay asking about criminal history until later in the hiring process.
“What we are suggesting is that when it comes to the application, give folks a chance to get through the door. Give them a chance to get in there so they can make their case,” said the president back in November.
Further legislative measures have also been introduced. S.2021 and H.R.3470, both entitled ‘The Fair Act’ and rolled out in November, would prohibits an executive agency from requesting an applicant for federal employment to disclose criminal history record information before a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant.
Additionally, the letter requested that the president extend these hiring provisions to all federal contractors – a provision also provided for in the House bill.
“We urge you to build on your administration’s record on fair chance hiring by committing the federal government to do its part to become a model employer,” the letter read.
Posted in From the Hill