Philadelphia bans asking about criminal history on job applications

The head of a civil rights group is complimenting Philadelphia for a new law designed to give ex-offenders a better chance at landing a job.

The bill signed by Mayor Michael Nutter bans a checkbox on job applications that forced ex-offenders to admit their criminal records. The mayor said ex-offenders in many cases are better workers than those who haven’t been to jail.

“What I need to know is that you want to turn your life around that you want to work and want to experience the dignity that comes from work and have made a conscious decision that you want to change your life,” said Nutter. “That’s what I need to know.”

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous applauds the law.  “It is allowing the citizens of this city who have paid their debt to society to redeem themselves through work it will make us safer, it will make our cities if they choose to follow suit stronger,” he said.

Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller who authored the law said other cities such as Camden are asking for copies to emulate it.

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