President Barack Obama has announced on Monday that he is signing a new order taking steps to prevent hiring bias when it comes to former convicts.
The order would be along the lines of the “ban the box” initiative, which seeks to get rid of the box that job applicants check stating whether or not they have a criminal record. While the box was previously seen as a way for employers to screen their applicants and streamline the hiring process, the practice has come under fire recently. Opponents of the box have claimed that the box serves as a way for employers to discriminate against anyone with a record, regardless of the severity of their crime.
The order, which will take immediate action, will mandate that the government’s HR department “delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.”
This falls in line with what the president said in July when speaking to federal prisoners about their chances of employment after they left prison.
“If they have a chance to at least meet you,” the president said in speaking of the upsides to putting off the criminal record portion of the hiring process, “you’re able to talk to them about your life, what you’ve done, maybe they give you a chance.”