SPOKANE, Wash.— The Spokane City Council is expected to vote on an ordinance Monday night that would make it easier with people with criminal convictions or arrest records to apply for jobs.
Monday night’s proposal would make it so city businesses do not ask for criminal conviction or arrest records until after meeting potential candidates in person.
According to the ordinance, the city plans to “assure employers that they may still conduct criminal background checks necessary for their specific employment purposes, and sets
certain minimum and non-intrusive standards for doing so.”
The advocacy group behind the movement, called “I Did the Time,” was started by a woman who spent seven years behind bars.
“I Did the Time” founder, Layne Pavey said the “ban the box” city council ordinance was the product of many year’s hard work.
“Just the fact that they are willing to listen to us and hear how we have rehabilitated ourselves, we've learned from our mistakes, and they're willing to say you know what you have served your time, you deserve a chance at this,” said Pavey.
One man with a criminal history said that his criminal record did not define him, but did make it hard for him to follow his passion and become a chef.
Chris Pilant said the criminal history box on job applications keeps him from even getting a foot in the door.
"They'll see my credentials but they won't even look at, they won't even look at that if they see the check in the box,” said Pilant.
Last year, Spokane County switched to “ban the box” for employees. The City of Spokane already practices what they call “Fair Chance Hiring.”