Philadelphia council votes to ‘ban the box’

    Philadelphia City Council has voted to ban job applications from asking about criminal histories – with a few exceptions.

    The legislation prohibits a checkbox asking if a job applicant, in either the public or private sector, has a criminal record.

    Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, who proposed the bill, said Thursday it’s designed to put everyone on an equal playing field.

    “This legislation will promote the capacity of ex-offenders and allow them to take care of themselves and their families,” she said, adding that it will “work toward reducing recidivism.”

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    Ex-offender Michael Tabon dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit to show how disadvantaged ex-offenders are finding work when they have to admit they spent time in jail.

    “This is a step in really making the city the City of Brotherly Love and not ‘killadelphia.’ Because if somebody’s brother was an ex-con and they had a business, and their brother came home and needed a job, they would give their brother a job,” Tabon said.

    A spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter says he will sign the bill. It exempts employers who are required to run background checks on new hires.

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