‘Ban the box’ law strengthened in Philadelphia

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 Mayor Michael Nutter signs legislation that strengthens the city's 'ban the box' law. Proponents say it will help Philadelphia combat poverty. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Mayor Michael Nutter signs legislation that strengthens the city's 'ban the box' law. Proponents say it will help Philadelphia combat poverty. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s “ban the box” law that prohibits employers from asking about criminal history on job applications is going a step further. 

A bill just signed into law by Mayor Michael Nutter prohibits employers from conducting any criminal- records checks or asking about criminal histories after they have made a conditional job offer.  

City Councilman Curtis Jones introduced the bill.

“This allows people to be humanized in a job interview, to make a connection to an employer so that they can see beyond what appears on a record and see a human being,” he said Tuesday.

Wayne Jacobs, the founder of X-Offenders for Community Empowerment, said the law will help fight poverty.

“This bill is an anti-poverty bill,” he said. “This bill has the potential of bringing thousands of formerly incarcerated and convicted people out of poverty.  It would also make it so these folks can now work at their skill level. And what does it mean? More tax money for the city.”

The law has exemptions for law enforcement and jobs involving children.

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