Ban The Box Vote Squeaks Through City Commission

Jan 29, 2015

Credit Flazingo Photos

A plan to remove a question asking potential city employees about their criminal histories has squeaked by the Tallahassee Commission, passing with a two-to-three vote. The city manager had announced plans to implement the so called “ban the box” initiative with no vote, but some commissioners including Scott Maddox raised concerned about the move.

“My concern is, so we don’t ask someone up front, they apply and then we find that they’re denied based on the nature, job relatedness, severity and date of offense after they have gone through the process. I’d rather they be told that up front. I think that’s fairer to them,” Maddox says.

Maddox says he does believe people should be given second chances and has hired people with criminal backgrounds, but questions whether the city is going about it in the right way. Meanwhile, others, like Mayor Andrew Gillum argue the plan lets those in charge of hiring consider a person’s skills first, pointing out any history will be revealed when background checks are conducted for finalists.