Portland delays Ban the Box proposal

Ban the BoxPortland is delaying action on a proposal to require that most employers wait until offering a prospective employee a job to ask about their criminal background.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is pushing the proposal, part of the nationwide “Ban the Box” movement to help remove barriers to employment for former felons. Getting and keeping a job is a key deterrent to recidivism.

The delay comes as the city lacked the backing of powerful interest groups like the chamber of commerce, which alleged the ordinance as written would create a new protected class, eliminating an employer’s ability to chose their workforce.

If an employer decides not to hire the individual after learning of their criminal history at the point of a conditional job offer (or by voluntary disclosure), then fails to give the job applicant an “individualized assessment” indicating why their prior offenses are germane to the person’s “ability to perform the duties and responsibilities” of the job – they could face a complaint.

City officials would receive complaints from individuals who allege a business violated the ordinance. The city would conduct an investigation and attempt to mediate the issue with the business. If those reconciliation efforts were unsuccessful, the city would bring the case before a hearings officer to determine whether the business acted appropriately.

Read More: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/03/portland_delays_action_on_city.html