Baltimore Councilman Mosby proposes bill to aid former criminals in job interview process

BALTIMORE - Concerned over those with criminal histories being unable to find employment, Baltimore City Councilman Nick J. Mosby, is scheduled to introduce legislation at 4:30 p.m. Thursday to prohibit potential employers from making inquiries or taking action based upon an applicant's criminal history before and during the interview process.

Mosby said that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 11 million Americans are unemployed and those with a criminal backgrounds find it even more difficult to find employment.

This is because many employers eliminate former convicts from the potential pool of applicants once they disclose their criminal history on an application, Mosby said.

Mosby said his "Ban the Box" legislation aims to strengthen fair hiring practices by allowing every applicant an equal opportunity for their skills and experience to be assessed alongside other qualified applicants.

"This practice significantly stifles many of our citizens' ability to compete in our workforce," said Mosby in a statement. "Many of them are unable to secure employment and, as a result, become habitually unemployed and ultimately discouraged.

"The purpose of the Ban the Box legislation is to provide fair hiring practices for all citizens seeking employment so those with a criminal background-some that committed crimes many years prior-have the opportunity to earn an honest living."

Mosby said his legislation does not preclude an employer from conducting a background check on the applicant after an interview has been conducted. His goal is to assist those with a criminal background who have been obstructed from competing in the employment process.

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