Memphis will eliminate the requirement that potential employees list their criminal history on a job application, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Other large municipalities, including Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago, have similar hiring guidelines. Yesterday, Memphis’ city council approved a “ban-the-box” ordinance sponsored by council members Harold Collins and Janis Fullilove. “It removes the box so if an individual is qualified for the job they will at least get the opportunity to interview for the position and they will get the opportunity to explain themselves,” said Collins.
Applicants still will be screened to eliminate those who don’t meet the stated job requirements, interviews are held, reference and background checks are conducted and a job offer is submitted, contingent on passing a physical. Fullilove, who is on probation after pleading guilty in December to two misdemeanor driving offenses, said the ordinance doesn’t excuse past criminal behavior, but that it could help people with criminal histories find honest work.