VT House Approves Bill Banning Employers From Asking About Criminal History on Job Applications

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The Vermont House approved a bill that ban employers from asking about an individual’s criminal history in preliminary job applications.

The bill was approved by a 138 to 5 vote. A third and final reading is ordered.

According to the bill, an employer may inquire as to an applicant’s criminal history record during an interview or thereafter, but not on an initial application.


House Speaker Shap Smith issued this statement following the vote:

“The House’s vote to ban the box is a vote for compassion, redemption, and opportunity. The current policy of screening for criminal histories in preliminary job applications puts a barrier in the way of successfully finding employment. This bill eliminates the practice so employers can focus their hiring decisions on an applicant’s potential, not their past. By removing this wall, Vermonters will have more opportunities to succeed. I am proud that the House has advanced this important measure.”

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