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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder bans felony box from state job applications

by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press - 09/21/2018
LANSING – People applying for State of Michigan jobs will no longer be asked on their employment applications whether they have a criminal record, says Gov. Rick Snyder, who said he wants to set an example for the private sector in giving ex-felons improved chances to successfully return to society.

Snyder said in a news release and executive directive that state officials will still be able to consider an applicant's criminal history during the state government hiring process, but not as part of the initial screening.
"While a job applicant's criminal record is certainly a relevant consideration in an employment decision, applicants who are filtered out of the process at the beginning simply for having a record are denied the opportunity to show their qualifications," Snyder said in the executive directive.

He said getting a job is "an essential part of successful re-entry for most prisoners."
The governor said he is encouraging private employers to follow suit, by removing the felony box from job applications or “moving the box” to later in the hiring process.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will also remove the criminal history box from occupational and construction code licensing applications, he said.

Bills that would ban private employers from including a criminal history box on employment applications have not passed the Legislature.
Snyder's directive is not binding on the Attorney General's Office or the Secretary of State's Office.
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