Job applicants with a criminal past would have a better shot at being considered, under a new Illinois law.
The law bans employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until they’ve been deemed qualified for the job and invited for an interview.
Todd Belcore of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law says the problem was that ex-offenders were dismissed before being given a chance to explain their situation or demonstrate that they’ve been rehabilitated.
“For too long, it doesn’t matter how educated you are, how qualified you are, or how much of an asset you would be to a company, we are denying people opportunities, we are denying people hope, we are denying people the basic necessity of being able to take care of themselves and their family. This is one of many efforts that right that wrong,” he said.
The new law does not apply to certain jobs where employers must exclude applicants with criminal histories.
The governor already had an executive order in place regarding hiring in state agencies. This new law, sponsored by State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) and State Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), affects private employers, starting next year.