ATLANTA (WTVM) - In a new executive order signed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday, convicted felons who apply for jobs will not have to check a box declaring their prior convictions.
The executive order, nicknamed "Ban the Box," says it's a policy "intended to improve public safety, enhance workforce development, and provide increased state employment opportunities" for convicted felons trying to improve their lives.
In short, an applicant will not be discriminated against prior to getting an interview based on their checking the box on applications; it would also allow job applicants to tell potential employers in person of prior convictions during interviews.
Georgia would be the first state in the south to have such a law implemented, and join 13 other states, including New Mexico, New Jersey and Minnesota that have such a law in place.
According to the official executive order, the "Ban the Box" policy would:
- Prohibit the use of a criminal record as an automatic bar to employment.
- Prevent the use of an application form that inappropriately excludes and discriminates against qualified job applicants.
- Promote the accurate use and interpretation of a criminal record.
- Provide qualified applicants with the opportunity to discuss any inaccuracies, contest the content and relevance of a criminal record, and provide information that demonstrates rehabilitation.
- Shall not affect applications for sensitive governmental positions in which a criminal history would be an immediate disqualification and initial disclosure on such applications shall still be required.