Government & Politics

Jackson County job applicants no longer required to disclose criminal history

Jackson County Executive Frank White on Monday thanked the county legislature for its unanimous support of a “ban-the-box” measure.
Jackson County Executive Frank White on Monday thanked the county legislature for its unanimous support of a “ban-the-box” measure. tljungblad@kcstar.com

Convicted felons who have served their sentences no longer need disclose their criminal history when applying for jobs with Jackson County.

County Executive Frank White notified the county legislature of his signed executive order at Monday’s legislative meeting in downtown Kansas City.

Kansas City’s city government earlier quit asking job applicants to check a box on its application form if they had a criminal record.

Missouri state agencies were instructed to adopt a similar policy under an executive order issued by Gov. Jay Nixon last spring.

The Jackson County resolution does not prevent county hiring managers from performing a background check, or from asking about an applicant’s criminal history in a job interview.

The “ban the box” movement claims that convicted felons are unfairly screened out of consideration for employment when they are forced to disclose their criminal history up front.

Applicants who don’t check the box and get the job are often forced out for lying on their applications.

White thanked the Legislature for its unanimous support of the measure.

“I strongly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to be heard and to advocate for themselves,” White said. “My action today ensures that all job applicants will be given such an opportunity without sacrificing the safety and security of any Jackson County resident.”

Mike Hendricks: 816-234-4738, @kcmikehendricks

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