City of Warren asked to change hiring policy - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

City of Warren asked to change hiring policy

City of Warren asked to change hiring policy

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WARREN, Ohio - A community initiative in Warren is asking the city to push criminal background checks to the end of the hiring process.

As it is now, on almost every job application there is a box that asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.  Although most people haven't, those who have they feel the question boxes them out from a better life.

"It's like they still look at you like you're that bad person but I'm not a bad person," said Returning Citizen Birgol Ball. "I did my time for my crime so I shouldn't have to pay for it the rest of my life."

Realizing that many employers throw out applications of convicted criminals, the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative is asking the city of Warren to 'ban the box' and to give returning citizens a fair interview.

"We're not going to forgo the background check, so the background check is still going to be there," explained Barbara Phinisee with the MVOC. "What we are asking them to do is take that little box off to interview the person, find out what they're about, find out what their crime was, and then proceed from there."

Advocates say it would be up to the discretion of the employer to decide if the person is right for the job and where to draw the line.

"They need to decide where that person fits in their organization," said Phinisee. "I can't tell you how to run your company I can only say we need to give people a fair chance."

The MVOC will present their case to Warren City Council on Wednesday. The Mayor says, at this point he is still gathering information but feels it's an important conversation that needs to take place.

Earlier this year, Youngstown City Council unanimously adopted a similar hiring policy.


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