An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Oregon Considers 'Ban the Box' Legislation

Kathryn Decker

Convicted criminals in Oregon would not have to disclose their criminal history on job applications under a measure moving through the legislature.

The Oregon House narrowly voted Wednesday to approve the proposal, sometimes called "Ban the box." It would allow employers to bring up the topic during job interviews but not before.

Supporters such as Democratic Representative Rob Nosse said the measure would give someone another shot after they’ve paid their debt to society.

"All these Oregonians are asking for is to have a fair chance to convince potential employers of why they're qualified for the job and to be given the ability to explain what they can bring to an employer's business,” he said.

Opponents called it an added burden for business. Some larger employers such as Walmart and Target already skip the question about criminal history on job applications.

The measure now heads to the Oregon Senate.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.