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City Council Debates Felony Box On Job Applications

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh City Councilman wants the city to take a question off its job application.

The question involves whether an applicant has been convicted of a felony.

Some cities like Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco have already removed the question from their applications.

It doesn’t mean potential employers don’t want to know the answer. It has more to do with just when the issue comes up.

“Once a person has been selected for employment prior to their final employment, they do have to have a background check and then they’ll have a conversation wit the employer as to whether or not they should still be hired,” City Councilman Ricky Burgess said.

“We as a city of Pittsburgh do hire people with felony convictions. What this does is it makes that process clear and transparent and fair to all so that you’re not hired based on your relationship with someone and then your felony conviction is overlooked whereas someone else their application is immediately discarded because of their felony conviction.”

But as council begins to think about the proposal, many have questions.

“I don’t see what it gets you to eliminate that box, if you will, from the get go,” Councilman Doug Shields said. “It’s certainly something that needs to be known.”

Burgess’ bill was just introduced and will be debated over the next few weeks.

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