Media Coverage: City of Atlanta Joins Growing List of Employers to “Ban the Box”

Equal Voice, America’s Family Story
March 8 2013
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The City of Atlanta is first employer in Georgia to “ban the box” on employment applications – doing away with the question about past criminal offenses.

The City joins about 40 other cities and counties throughout the United States in removing questions that discriminate against people with criminal backgrounds.

A recent report by the National Employment Law Project estimates that 65 million people in America – one in four adults – have a criminal record.

The next step, said Marilynn Winn, organizer for 9to5 Atlanta, is to push for similar policies at the state level, in individual counties across Georgia, and eventually, from private employers.

Winn said the Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, has also been receptive to the idea of removing the questions about a criminal background from job applications.

Winn initiated the “ban the box” campaign for 9to5 Atlanta two years ago.

“Removing this question from employment applications will give the formerly incarcerated a fair chance to be selected for an interview based on their skills, qualifications and education, and possibly to obtain employment,” said Winn.

“An applicant will only discuss their background when selected for an interview,” she said.

Today 9to5 is one of the largest membership organizations of working women in the U.S., dedicated to putting working women’s issues on the public agenda.


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