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Oregon Legislature Votes to ‘Ban the Box’ on Job Applications

Friday, June 12, 2015

 

Oregon Senate has passed a 'Ban the Box' legislation that will prohibit employers from including questions about applicants’ criminal history on job applications. It now heads to the House for a concurrent vote and if approved it will go to Governor Kate Brown for her signature.

“As Oregonians, we believe that anyone who makes a mistake and learns from it deserves a second chance,” said Tom Chamberlain, President of Oregon AFL-CIO and member of Fair Chance For All. “This bill helps make it possible for thousands of people who have paid their debts to society to one day get a job and pull their lives and their families back together.”

For more than a year, the Fair Chance for All Coalition has been working hard to remove the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor?” from job applications and provide basic protections from discrimination for people with records.

Moving On From Past Mistakes

“Finding a job is one of the biggest barriers for people with past convictions, even if they are qualified for the position,” said Rep. Carla C. Piluso, former Gresham Chief of Police. “In law enforcement, we know the single most effective deterrent against re-offending is employment. Past mistakes should not be a permanent barrier for people who want to earn an honest living and contribute positively to their community. This legislation is a step in the right direction."

More than 32,000 people in Oregon are currently incarcerated or on community supervision and face barriers to housing and jobs. Nearly 11 percent of incarcerated Oregonians are African American, despite the fact that African Americans make up only 2 percent of Oregon’s overall population.

“Even today, it’s disheartening to know that no matter how qualified I am for a job, I still face barriers because of a mistake I made more than ten years ago," said Emmanuel Price, an Oregonian with personal experience transitioning from incarceration to the community.

An Opportunity To Explain Past Mistakes

In Oregon, nearly 5,000 people are released from prison every year. Banning the box will give prospective employees an opportunity to meet with employers and explain who they are now, versus who they were when they committed the crime.

After struggling to find employment, Price founded Second Chances Are for Every One, an organization that works to reduce the rate of recidivism by providing support services to promote employment, empowerment, and community engagement for men in transition.

"All formerly incarcerated Oregonians deserve a fair chance at employment. And with today’s passage of Ban the Box, we will get one," said Price.

‘The box’ has already been removed from applications for City of Portland jobs in 2014 and Multnomah County jobs in 2006 and from the City of Eugene in 2007. Once signed into law, the bill will make Oregon the 18th state in the nation to “ban the box” including: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

 

Related Slideshow: 20 Large Oregon Employers That Will Still Test You For Pot

Even though Marijuana is legal in Oregon, many of Oregon's big employers still require drug tests from their employees. Check out these 20 companies that require a drug test. 

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#1

Jeld-Wen

Industry: Manufacturing and distributing

Headquarters: Klamath Falls, Oregon

Number of Oregon Locations: 2

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#2

Standard Insurance

Industry: Insurance and finance

Headquarters: Portland, Oregon

Number of Oregon Locations: 2

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#3

Seven Feathers Casino

Industry: Hospitality

Headquarters: Canyonville, Oregon

Number of Oregon Locations: 1

Photo Credit: Images_of_Money via Compfight cc

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#4

Intel

Industry: Semiconductors

Headquarters: Santa Clara, California

Number of Oregon Locations: 6

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#5

Alaska Air Group

Industry: Transportation

Headquarters: SeaTac, Washington

Number of Oregon Locations: 4

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#6

Fred Meyer

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Portland, Oregon

Number of Oregon Locations: 50

Photo Credit: jessica mullen via Compfight cc

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#7

Market of Choice 

Industry: Grocery

Headquarters: Eugene, Oregon

Number of Oregon Locations: 9

Photo Credit: DC Central Kitchen via Compfight cc

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#8

Willamette Pass Ski Area 

Industry: Recreation

Headquarters: Willamette Pass

Number of Oregon Locations: 1

Photo Credit: Salina Canizales via Compfight cc

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#9

Bi-Mart

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Eugene, Oregon

Number of Oregon Locations: 60

Photo Credit: St_A_Sh via Compfight cc

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#10

Nordstrom

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington

Number of Oregon Locations: 10

Photo Credit: MikeKalasnik via Compfight cc

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#11

Safeway

Industry: Grocery

Headquarters: Pleasanton, California

Number of Oregon Locations: 97

Photo Credit: Slugicide via Compfight cc

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#12

Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Union, New Jersey

Number of Oregon Locations: 9

Photo Credit: JeepersMedia via Compfight cc

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#13

Jack in the Box

Industry: Restaurants

Headquarters: San Diego, California

Number of Oregon Locations: 54

Photo credit: Ernesto Andrade on Flickr

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#14

Costco

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Issaquah, Washington

Number of Oregon Locations: 13

Photo Credit: InSapphoWeTrust via Compfight cc

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#15

Kaiser Permanente

Industry: Healthcare

Headquarters: Oakland, California

Number of Oregon Locations: 60

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#16

Dairy Queen

Industry: Restaurants

Headquarters: Edina, Minnesota

Number of Oregon Locations: 105

Photo Credit: Dusty J via Compfight cc

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#17

United Rentals

Industry: Construction equipment suppliers 

Headquarters: Greenwich, Connecticut

Number of Oregon Locations: 10

Photo Credit: Jaypeg21 via Compfight cc

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#18

Papé Brothers, Inc.

Industry: Construction equipment suppliers 

Headquarters: Eugene, Oregon

Number of Oregon Locations: 24

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#19

Best Buy

Industry: Retail

Headquarters: Richfield, Minnesota

Number of Oregon Locations: 15

Photo Credit: JeepersMedia via Compfight cc

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#20

Sinclair Media

Industry: Broadcasting Media

Headquarters: Hunt Valley, Maryland

Number of Oregon Locations: 4

Photo Credit: jstar.pl via Compfight cc

 
 

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