Lancaster bans the criminal box

The City of Lancaster will no longer ask job applicants if they have a criminal history.

Removing the criminal history box from employment applications was an idea Mayor Richard Gray didn’t initially support, but he says it didn’t take long for him to come around.

“It’s a problem when someone who makes a mistake or who gets caught up in the legal system should not be barred from any gainful employment,” Gray said. “Many people come up to me every week and say they just want to work.”

The city will continue to do background checks on prospective employees, and the new policy will not apply to police and fire department applicants.

Gray said he expects the city council to pass an ordinance that would encourage businesses to follow the city’s lead.

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