Ban the Box Bill Introduced in Iowa Senate (SF 84)

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On Tuesday, January 19, the Iowa Senate’s labor committee to “ban the box,” which prohibits from job applications from asking whether an applicant has ever been convicted of a crime.  The bill would permit asking an applicant to provide this information, but not until after the employer determines the applicant is otherwise qualified for the job, selected for an interview, or a job is offered.

A three-member panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee discussed the bill Tuesday but took no action. They plan to meet soon to decide whether to advance the legislation to a full committee.

The bill was introduced last session but failed to get out of committee.  It is clear the box, to the extent it provides a “no brainer” excuse for an employer to trash a job application, needs to be reconsidered. I’m not sure where I fall on this one, though.  Perhaps with the Governor’s recent emphasis on criminal justice reform (which seems to be picking up at the national level, as well), it may get somewhere this time around.

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