ACLU petitions for ‘ban the box’ executive action for federal jobs

has begun petitioning the government to stop including questions about applicants’ criminal records on federal job applications. Recently, President Obama spoke at the NAACP’s annual conference, where he asked Congress to pass federal “ban the box” laws and prevent criminal background checks from being conducted until later in the employment process. According to the ACLU petition, Obama told employers they should “ban the box on job applications so that former prisoners who have done their time and are now trying to get straight with society have a decent shot in a job interview.” But the ACLU doesn’t think that it’s enough for the president to ask this of Congress. The organization wants him to take the initiative. “To President Obama,” the petition reads, “Make the federal government a model employer. Issue an Executive Order to remove the criminal record checkbox from federal agency and federal contractor job applications, and postpone criminal background checks until the conditional offer stage.” Other groups are also on board with this request. The National Employment Law Project has been calling for executive action for more than six months, along with 27 state senators and various progressive employment groups. An estimated one in four U.S. citizens has some kind of criminal past. More than 30,000 people have signed ACLU’s petition so far. Eighteen states currently have ban-the-box laws on the books.]]>

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