On September 30, the Ohio House passed the Fair Hiring Act, which would prohibit the State of Ohio from including on any employment application for a state job any question concerning the criminal background of the applicant. The measure is now being considered by Ohio’s Senate, which is separately considering a different bill that would apply the same prohibition to all Ohio employers, public and private.
I’ve previously shared my thoughts on this brand of legislation, known as “Ban the Box.” Short version—I’m not a fan.
Last Sunday, John Oliver covered this issue on his HBO show. He and I have a difference of opinion on whether the law should permit employers to ask about prior felony convictions on employment applications. Watch:
Readers, what do you think? Do “Ban the Box” laws make for good policy as a necessary barrier removal to the employability of felons, or should employers have the right to make informed decisions about the individuals they are considering for employment without the added cost of a criminal background check on everyone who puts pen to paper on a job application?
Sound off in the comments below, or on Twitter with the hashtag #ShouldWeBanTheBox.