City Council votes in favor of 'Ban the Box' ordinance

UPDATE: After hours of public comment from the Spokane community, the Spokane City Council has voted in favor of an ordinance that would "ban the box" on job applications. Banning the box means employers are prohibited from using criminal or arrest records to make decisions on employment until after an in-person interview. The vote passed 5-2.

Previous coverage:

The Spokane City Council will vote on an ordinance Monday night that would prohibit employers from using criminal conviction or arrest records to make decisions on employment until after an in-person interview. 

Spokane County recently voted not to ask applicants about their criminal history, and the City of Spokane joined the "Ban the Box" movement back in 2014. 

Monday night's City Council agenda aims to do the same for businesses in our community. 

"This ordinance would prohibit employers from using criminal conviction or arrest records to make employment decisions prior to an in-person or Skype interview and would prohibit employers from advertising a restriction on job applicants based on criminal conviction or arrest records unless the restriction was a bona fide condition of employment," the ordinance reads. "Employers may also consider criminal records if the conviction is related to significant job duties or otherwise allowed by law. The ordinance formally adopts into the municipal code the City's existing administrative policy on fair chance hiring, also including exceptions for public safety, serving vulnerable populations and confidential positions."

Violations of this ordinance can result in a $261 fine for each occurrence, according to Monday night's agenda.

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