November 02, 2015

Following Calls From Warner & Kaine, President Obama Bans The Box On Federal Job Applications

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine praised President Barack Obama’s announcement that federal employers will be required to “ban the box” on job applications, removing a barrier for former offenders seeking employment after incarceration. In May, Warner and Kaine urged President Obama to ban the box on federal job applications to help expand job opportunities and reduce recidivism among ex-offenders.

“I’m very pleased the President will implement fair hiring practices for federal employees by ‘banning the box’,” said Warner. “The categorical disqualification to employment so early in the hiring process is hugely detrimental to Americans who have served their time and are trying to rebuild their lives. Today’s announcement is an important first step towards expanding job opportunities and reducing recidivism rates among ex-offenders.”

“During my conversations with former offenders in Richmond and Norfolk last month, nearly everyone I spoke to described the same set of challenges when applying for jobs after prison – lack of skills training, lack of transportation and, in many cases, being disqualified on the basis of their prior convictions instead of their merits,” said Kaine. “Having a steady job is critical to getting your life back on track, supporting your family and staying out of jail. President Obama’s efforts to ban the box will help give thousands of Americans who have paid their debt to society the opportunity to become productive members of their communities again.”

By banning the box on initial job applications, employers give individuals re-entering the workforce the opportunity to demonstrate their merits. Employers retain their rights to inquire about criminal history prior to making a hiring decision. Positions related to law enforcement and national security duties and positions that require access to classified information would be exempted.

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