City Councilman Wants To Ban ‘Felony Box’ On Job Applications

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess introduced legislation today that would remove the “felony box” on employment applications. His proposal would ” ban the box” from city job applications. Burgess explains to KDKA Radio’s  Robert Mangino why he thinks the box should disappear. Listen in to Ricky Burgess and Robert Mangino!

  • Thomas J Duttine

    Does he have a family member who needs a job??

    • Dan

      You must remember Burgess represents HOMEWOOD, and 90 % of the people that live there are felons….You think the city and the police and firefighters are bad now? This would make it insane..everyone buy a gun and fear the city employees as much as the bad guys because then they will be the same!

      • Mayor Stupidstal

        This is a great idea..actually you should have to be a felon to get a city job….

      • Shawn Wright

        First off 90% of Homewood does NOT have criminal records. Your comment is prejudical and unfounded. Now I don’t agree with removing the box I think to fix Mr. Burgess needs to talk to the people who take care of removing your criminal background IF you have one. I know people who have lost or not got jobs for claiming to have lied on applications, based on summary cases such as traffic violations that shouldn’t have shown up at all on your background. I had a parking meter violation that I fought and won but showed up in my background, (We have to recertify every year). I think the system is flawed in how criminal activity is handled. People who should be registered offenders aren’t listed but your parking ticket is there with big red flags. If this were fixed it would be easier for employers and employees or potential employees.

    • sadcityresident

      ENTITLEMENT…….simply sickening When will we put a end to this nonsense and make some rules to keep idiots like burgess off council ?

      • ENFORCER


  • Big Daddy Kahuna

    My oh my. Here we go again. Let’s get everyone on a level playing field. Man is inherently good and we are all the same.

    Maybe Ricky needs to hire some felons to work in his office …. eh?

  • walk the line

    4 quick things to say after listening to the sound clip
    1) I am a 4.0 college graduate, working on a masters. I was un-employed for 17 months after graduation. I WOULD HOPE that I am set aside from, or ahead of someone with a felony conviction. Felonies should preclude hiring. DING fries are done! There should not be an even playing field.
    2) Lets looks at the types of crime that are felonies, Aggravated Assault w/a Deadly Weapon, Drug Distribution or Trafficking,Burglary, Sexual Assault, Arson, Drug Offenses, Firearms, Major Theft. After a conviction (assuming fair trial…) is there an explanation to validate city employment…really??? you were found guilty!!
    3) Not having the questions allows for the employee to claim…the question wasn’t there, I thought they would find it on a background check…years down the road it comes out and the person files a civil suit for reinstatement. and wins.
    4) recidivism is at 70%, but its OK if the felony was as a juvenile or years ago because, kids/adults learn their lessons and walk the straight line, they don’t re-offend. really????? look at the stats

    lastly, a convict is more motivated than me apparently. That is pathetic, maybe i should work harder
    am I the only one thats thinks this way? KEEP THE BOX PITTSBURGH!

  • Rueland P.

    Great comment walk the line…I couldn’t have said it better myself. Burgess has an absolutely insane idea and his job qualifications and mental health need to be evaluated immediately.


      So true!!!

    • jeff

      Yes that’s the best way of thinking, reminds me of how Germans in a certain party felt about Jewish people. That they were superior to them and to the rest of the world. Also how plenty of Americans whether they owned slaves or not, felt about blacks a century ago. You’re no better than a person who has a felon, get over that fact. Fact, you’ve broken the law in some way some how. Whether speeding or something even more minor. How about if I felt speeders are dangerous to society and should be locked up because they can cause accidents and hurt our children? I believe many people feel this way. Well now you can’t be hired, tough luck with the bills and trying to contribute to anything, even if you only sped one time and haven’t in years. Not my problem right? How about instead of baring all, only the real criminals with multiple felonies and repeat offenders? Why should I, who was charged with agg assault at 17 for defending myself against 2 black guys trying to rob me, not be hired? Finished my yr probation and had a hard time getting hired until I started my work. Like I said, don’t repeat history and think like a Nazi :) Don’t lump all felons into one group, some of us are good people who made one mistake. Many do and aren’t caught, like any politician perhaps???

  • Level Green

    Are you kidding me??? Why not hire people that have been convicted of a murder. What ever happened to hiring the best person for the job.

    Every private company in the country has the “Convicted of a Felony Box” on it and we should not expect any less of the people serving the public. After all we’re talking about Felonies, not some minor shop lifting or larceny conviction.

    Felons are serious criminals that granted, have made serious mistakes with their lives, but do you want them working on your tax dollars. I’m sorry, life is full of consequences and this is one of them.

  • Daniel

    Good thing that not paying your city tax is not a felony or the “Reverend” Burgess would be a felon….keep the box. This is simply stupid if you ask me to even bring it up.

    • Charlie Sheen

      Hey Rev. Ricky… your idea sounds Icky. What are ya… on crack?

      • imnotlieing

        i smoke crack and i think child molesters, rapists, wife beaters etc should be killed….. if you think i’m jokn ask the people at freeport capri who did the haiti and the japan earthquake… it’s high time people stop blamin crime on drugs…. ya ever notice that people don’t break into the crack dealers house ??? cuz he has guns and will kill you what you need to do is replace rev ricky with the biggest blackest crack dealer your problems will get solved basicly the black crack dealers are often the sanford son’s repubs who got suckered into the dem party only to find out what it was about and now this is what they do

  • redrock100

    “these ” people dont think they need a father so why would a criminal record be important?

    • Darc_Starr

      Explain these people?

  • kd

    I once worked for a company that hired ex-cons they had back rounds for assault and theft just to name some.
    Within a week we started having a ton of thefts as well as some being made against our customers.
    If you really wanted to get rid of something on an application they should do away with CREDIT CHECKS , for this a total invasion of an individuals privacy.
    I’m trying to post this but it is being blocked.

    • ForThePeople

      I agree with you that CREDIT CHECKS for a job is asinine. How do you expect the American people to get out of debt if they can’t find a job? Oh wait, your broke sorry you can’t work here. HUH?

      • Zoeyzotron

        You should have lived within your means.

  • Rick should resign

    First of all the government is the one employer which most of all SHOULD have a higher requiremed standard for hiring. Where do we draw the line at Rick? Most every person hired by the government WILL have contact with citizens. Therefore the government should ONLY hire those who possess the skils to deal with the public without victimizing them. Felons should not be hired by the government, period. Get over your puny authority Rickey. Furthermore I think it is a clear indicator of what type of constituency would elect a mental midget such as this man. Which is why I say you should have to take an IQ test prior to being issued a voter ID card.

  • critter

    They fill out very few as entitlements indicate. However, a father would help.



  • Seeking balance

    Sorry, but a felony conviction should definitely take you OUT of the potential employee pool for a government job!! Regardless of who you’re related to, who you are friends with, etc… A rapist having MORE access to public records could easily find more victims and others could find their accusors.. This is COMMON SENSE, which is likely why it is being debated!!!

  • It's about time

    I suppose since you are all “perfect” you don’t watch football, correct?
    You can throw around a football and make millions, but you want to deny someone from working to support a family.

  • Truth

    Its not hard to get a felony……. I believe this may be a good idea depending on what kind of felon they are, if its a simple weed position 28 + grams is a felony. The average smoker goes through that in a half month sooo this is leaving the lighter non violent individuals in trouble of finding a job. Anyways this should be considered but also they should look at the degree of felony…..

    • Truth

      and if you disagree with my comment also think about this! if these guys arent aloud to get jobs then they dont make enough money per year which leaves them eligible for WELFARE which in the long run costs people like YOU more money. 2ndly if they cant get a job what resort does that leave them….. to rob/ sell drgs/ whatever they have to, to get money. YOU LIKE APPLES? HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES

      • Truth

        oh and this isnt for just a govt job i mean for any job really


        I wouldn’t trust someone on drugs, there are to many workers high on dope if you even call any government agency they cry cause you ask them to do something.
        Meanwhile they sit in their basement and smoke dope and drink after work while they have no idea what their kids are doing.
        A felony is a felony if you don’t like it work to have drug laws changed.

  • franken berry

    They should do it. If you commit a crime and you do your time you should not be punished of never getting a good job because you made one mistake. If you get in trouble then can never get a job what do you think that person is gonna do more crime….Let them get a Job

  • LordForgiveMe

    1. DING! FIRST of all, I am also a 4.0 recently college graduate, who is not being a boastful or pompous. If your so upset about the box Why would you be applying for the same job if you have a masters? eh smarty pants. They aren’t asking to get ahead of anyone with a precious little masters degree, they are asking to get ANY job so they don’t have to live off your tax money and get welfare cards BECAAAAUSE they can’t get a job because of that stupid little box. If an employer doesn’t do a background check thats on them.

    2. I do not promote violence of ANY kind nor do i judge, i work for a crisis center. heres a question: Maybe they sold drugs because they had to pay for college because mommy and daddy can’t pay for their schooling. believe me honey i know 2 well renowned pilots who paid their way through school by selling drugs. because they were too busy studying and getting 4.0s. plane and simple. Do i condone it? NO. I’ve seen drugs kill the young and ruin so many lives you can’t even fathom. But if someone has been clean for 8 years and is trying to better themselves who are YOU to judge the reasoning behind anything. They need a job. and don’t get me started about going to school to “better” themselves because if they can’t afford to feed themselves how are they supposed to go to school OH and that “little box” is also on college applications.

    3. you’ll get a masters, get a swanky job, get married and cheat on your wife with your secretary and get a divorce by year 2, look at those stats.

    booya! i’m out

    Lord please forgive me for getting heated but hey its a free country :-) and someone needs to stand up for people who deserve a chance.
    NO LITTLE BOX!!!!!!!!

  • Lance

    Ricky is the biggest hypocrite I know. He will do ANYTHING TO get re-elected. Remember his last election? It was the same tactics. He exploits the senior citizens, the children and now the young black males with felony records. We need a council person that is matrue with balance to get this district back on track. Phyllis Copeland-Mitchell is right in saying that Burgess has heightened the Jordan Miles situation because of the election. She’s right in saying that Burgess never rediculed the Mayor’s decisions, not once, even when the Mayor and City Council honored the three police officers right after they beat Jordan Miles. She said if Burgess is going to speak out against injustice, do it all the way around the table. Where is your criticism for the Mayor proudly honoring the men you said our children are afraid of if that is how you feel about the situation? Burgess has really brought destruction to our district.

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