State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) applauded the state’s move to ‘ban-the-box’ on applications for Ohio civil service jobs. Beginning June 1, Ohioans who apply for civil service jobs will no longer be asked about prior felony convictions on job applications, making Ohio the twelfth state to ‘ban-the-box’ on state employment forms.

“This is about giving people a fair chance to get back on their feet,” said Rep. Sykes. “Ex-offenders serve their time, and it’s only fair that once they’ve done so, they have an equal shot at getting a job based on their skills and qualifications.”

The change was made by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, which oversees hiring practices for state agencies. Some applicants can still be barred from certain positions based on their criminal record, and applicants will still be screened for prior felonies, but screening will now happen later in the application process.

“Many inmates spend a great deal of time in prison learning new job skills that will enable them to re-enter society, and we should be encouraging them to do so,” Rep. Sykes added. “Banning the box not only helps employers find these qualified candidates, but decreases the likelihood that ex-offenders will re-enter the criminal justice system.”

House Bill 56, which is currently making its way through the committee process, would expand ‘ban-the-box’ policies for all public jobs in Ohio while requiring employers to wait until after the interview process to ask about prior convictions.

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