Politics & Government
11:20 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Is it time to stop asking Michigan job seekers about criminal convictions on job applications?

Michigan employers would no longer be able to ask on a job application if a person has been convicted of a felony.  That is if one state lawmaker has his way.

Research shows a criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a job callback or offer by nearly 50%.

To help change that, State Representative Fred Durhal of Detroit wants to ban employers from including a question about criminal convictions on job applications.

He says too often employers throw away job applications if the applicant checks the criminal conviction box.

“You are actually throwing away good people…who could be given a second chance…and allow them to become the kind of members of society that we want to see happen,” says Durhal. 

Opponents say federal law already protects job seekers from discrimination, adding any change could affect workplace safety.

Similar legislation has failed to pass the Michigan legislature in the past, but Durhal believes that will change this year.