The Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 Monday night to study a so-called “Ban the Box” movement, which would delay the city from asking about a job applicant’s criminal history until later in the hiring process.
Council members voted to send the issue to its economic development committee.
About 75 supporters of “Ban the Box” came to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center Monday, saying the city’s current hiring practice makes it difficult for people with criminal histories to get jobs. Jason Huber, an assistant professor with the Charlotte School of Law, said job applicants would still be asked about their criminal history – but only after making an initial cut.
“It would allow people to get their foot in the door,” Huber said.
The city doesn’t have a policy barring hiring people with criminal records.
Republican City Council member Warren Cooksey, who voted against sending the issue to committee, said he thought the movement was a “solution in search of a problem.”
But other council members said they would be willing to study it.
Democrat Beth Pickering voted in favor of studying the issue further. “I don’t want to preclude anyone from working,” Pickering said. “We should study this.”
Huber and other speakers said some cities have delayed asking about criminal histories, including Durham.
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