Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to sign 'Ban the Box' bill

BALTIMORE - Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will sign legislation Thursday prohibiting certain employers from asking job applicants about their criminal past.

The Ban the Box bill, sponsored by Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby, won’t require employers to hire someone with a criminal record. But companies could be penalized for discriminatory hiring practices.

The legislation draws its name from the yes or no boxes job applicants are often ask to check on applications asking if they have ever been convicted of a crime.

Rawlings-Blake will be joined by Mosby, the Ban the Box Coalition and others from the mayor's Office of Employment Development's Re-Entry Center at the One-Stop Career Center in Mondawmin Mall.

Mosby said in March he wanted to help people with a criminal background at least get the chance to interview instead of getting disqualified after checking yes. Employers can still run background checks, he said.

Opponents of the legislation said it was an unfair restriction on businesses. 

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