Louisiana House Considering Ban the Box Legislation

Date: May 03, 2016 Last Edit: May 04, 2016

NFIB calls the proposed mandate a ‘slippery slope.’

Louisiana House Considering Ban the Box Legislation

Late
last month, the House and Governmental Affairs Committee voted to advance a ban
the box bill to the House floor for debate and vote. If approved, state
employers would no longer be able to ask job applicants about their criminal
histories until, or if, they get to the in-person interview stage of the process.

 The
proposal, sponsored by Reps. C. Denise Marcelle and Patricia Smith, would apply
to politically appointed unclassified employees and not classified state
workers under the Louisiana civil service system. However, Byron P. Decoteau,
civil service director, told the Washington Times that if the bill
becomes law, civil services would likely develop and vote on similar guidelines
for hiring practices. The bill would also not apply to law enforcement
positions, corrections officers, or other jobs that legally require criminal
background checks.
 

While
the bill currently only applies to state hiring, Dawn Starns, NFIB’s Louisiana
state director, called the measure a “slippery slope.” And indeed, Rep. Smith
has already said that she is considering proposing a ban the box measure
that would apply to private businesses that contract with the state.

“The
people pushing this bill want to ban the box when it comes to the private
sector, as well,” Starns said in a statement. “That’s a bad idea, especially
when it comes to small businesses. Small businesses can’t afford to leave a
position open while interviewing a candidate whose background would ultimately
disqualify them. You’re not going to hire someone who’s been convicted of
embezzlement to handle money, and you’re not going to hire someone with a bad
driving record to drive your delivery truck.”

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