Over 65 million Americans – 1 out of every 4 adults – have a criminal record. At the Workers’ Center of Central New York, we recognize that employer discrimination against applicants with criminal history records not only violates state and federal labor laws, but channels applicants into the lowest segments of the labor market, where wages are low, jobs are precarious and violations of employment standards are commonplace. This is why we adamantly support passage of the “Ban the Box” bill in Syracuse. This important piece of legislation would require employers in Syracuse to remove from job application forms the “box” that applicants with criminal records must check. It would defer all criminal history inquiries and background checks until later in the application process, allowing applicants with criminal history records a fairer shot at employment and bringing employers into compliance with existing state and federal laws which prohibit blanket discrimination against applicants with criminal history records. The movement in support of “Ban the Box” is growing rapidly; so far, “ban the box” laws have been adopted in over 50 cities and counties and 9 states! Help us make Syracuse the first city in New York State to pass such an ordinance and join us in the struggle for not only employment opportunity, but good jobs, for all! For more information on the “Ban the Box” campaign in general, see the National Employment Law Project here. For more information on the campaign in Syracuse, contact co-chair of the board, Gretchen Purser.
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