Indiana bucking 'ban box' trend - State allows criminal past on job apps

INDIANAPOLIS – One thing is clear in the debate over “banning the box” – businesses don't want to talk about asking for criminal history on job applications.

“Something like that I don't even want to touch,” said one Fort Wayne businessman.

“I'm not up to speed. No comment,” said another.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc.'s board has not voted on the issue “so it wouldn't be appropriate for us to comment.”

The push to remove the question from job applications – thereby giving a better chance at employment for ex-offenders – has grown nationally in recent years.

Hundreds of state and local governments have enacted ban-the-box laws. Generally, the idea is that an initial application won't ask about criminal history – allowing someone to form an impression of the applicant before any possible background checks later in the hiring process.

Most of the ordinances or laws apply to public-sector hiring but some limit the ability of private-sector businesses.

The Fort Wayne City Council hasn't considered the issue, which Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, called a tough balancing act. FULL ARTICLE