Currently, the Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act prohibits local governments from maintaining policies that regulate the information an employer must request, require, or exclude from an application for employment. Senate Bill 353 (SB 353), introduced by Senator John Proos (R – District 21), amends the Act to allow local governments to adopt policies that permit employers to reject applicants with a criminal history at the initial application stage.
There is evidence that “fair chance” policies, often referred to as “ban the box”, can have a significant affect on employment rates for returning citizens. Currently, there are over 150 jurisdictions nationally with policies designed to evaluate a candidate’s qualifications prior to examination of a criminal record.
Individuals with a criminal background face significant barriers to employment, which is one of the most important factors in success upon release from incarceration. Currently, the employment rate for formerly incarcerated people in Michigan is about 33 percent.
CAPPS opposes this bill. Michigan should not support policies that limit an individual’s ability to obtain gainful employment upon release from incarceration.