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City Council Votes To Ban 'The Box'

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - City Council today gave final approval to new restrictions on the questions employers can ask of job applicants about possible prior criminal records.

Advocates for ex-offenders, including Wayne Jacobs of Ex-Offenders for Community Empowerment, said finding a job can be still difficult many years after release, because they always have to check the box on job applications specifying that they have prior convictions.

"People who have been home maybe 10, 15, 20 years, they have to face the box," said Jacobs. "And these people have shown that they are crime-free, and they are good citizens and they need to work."

City Council approved a bill that prohibits employers from putting that box on job applications and from asking about ex-offender status during the first interview. Such questions are allowed during a follow-up interview.

The bill now goes to the mayor. A spokesman says he will sign the measure.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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