Wilm. council encourages statewide Ban the Box legislation

By Tom Lehman 11:24pm, February 6, 2014 - Updated 8:31am, February 7, 2014
VIDEO: Wilmington City Councilman Justen Wright discusses sthe resolutionp passed Thursday night.
Wilmington City Council passes a resolution supporting a state House bill to "Ban the Box."

WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.

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The motion encouraged the state Senate to vote for House Bill 167, which would remove questions about criminal convictions from applications for non-uniformed public jobs. An amended version of the proposed law has already been approved by the House.

In lieu of the question, public employers would be allowed to perform background checks on applicants after a conditional job offer.

Wilmington adopted the policy in late 2012 through an executive order by Mayor Jim Baker. He made the decision days after council passed a resolution requesting the action.

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon also issued an executive order to "ban the box" for non-uniformed jobs last week.

Councilman Justen Wright (D-At Large) sponsored the resolution and said the bill doesn't eliminate background checks.

"It just delays the process, it actually does occur when a conditional job offer or a position is offered to someone, then at that point they can go forward with the background check and not with the initial application," he said.

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HB 167 could be passed as early as next month, once the Senate returns from budget hearings this month.

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