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Briggs: Indianapolis can't 'ban the box' anymore, but a new policy might have the same e


The box isn't banned anymore. Not technically, at least.

But if you run a company that wants to do business with Indianapolis and Marion County, it would be a very good idea for you to skip the box — a term that refers to the space people check on job applications to indicate they have a criminal record.

The City-County Council is revamping its ban-the-box ordinance in response to a state law passed earlier this year that stripped its authority. The amended ordinance might not have the teeth of the original version, but it could have the same basic effect.

The Indiana General Assembly has prohibited municipalities from enforcing ban-the-box policies. The new law nullified a part of Indianapolis' ordinance that mandated vendors not ask job applicants about their criminal histories.

For Indianapolis, it was the latest instance in the state's long history of either overturning or pre-empting city policymaking.

"I'll spare everyone the why-does-the-state-keep-telling-us-what-we-have-to-do rant," City-County Council member Jeff Miller said during an Aug. 7 Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee meeting. "I'm tired of it and it doesn't seem to matter because they have told us what to do." FULL ARTICLE