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Should employers be banned from asking if job applicants have convicted crimes?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 27:  A job seeker holds a job application during the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitcomb on March 27, 2012 in San Francisco, California. As the national unemployment rate stands at 8.3 percent, job seekers turned out to meet with recruiters at the San Francisco Hirevent job fair where hundreds of jobs were available.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A job seeker holds a job application during the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitcomb in March 2012 in San Francisco, California.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim is proposing to eliminate this question of virtually all job applications in San Francisco. Kim would like to amend the city’s current ban by expanding it to include most private employers, publicly funded housing providers and city contractors.

"Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim is proposing to eliminate this question of virtually all job applications in San Francisco.  

Kim would like to amend the city’s current ban by expanding it to include most private employers, publicly funded housing providers and city contractors. Already, 10 states and over 50 cities have adopted a version of “ban the box” and more private employers support the ban.   

Is disclosure of a criminal history necessary or is it preventing otherwise qualified and competent applicants from earning employment?  How would eliminating this question from the job application process impact those convicted of crimes?  

Guest: 

Jane Kim, San Francisco Supervisor representing District 6 encompassing the Tenderloin, South of Market, Mid-Market/Civic Center, South Beach, Mission Bay, Rincon Hill and Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island neighborhoods

Elizabeth Milito, Senior Executive Counsel, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children; Co-founder, All of Us or None, a project of LSPC started by formerly incarcerated people in 2003

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