ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Legislature passed the Fair Chance Employment Act Tuesday evening.
Also known as “Ban the Box,” the bill says that people with a criminal history face discrimination in employment. The bill will ban Monroe County employment applications from asking about an applicant’s criminal history.
County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar says that African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. She adds that questions about such records will make it more difficult for them to find a job.
“There are extreme structural disadvantages that Black and Latino applicants with criminal records face in the employment market,” LaMar said. “Ban the Box policies help dismantle the structural discrimination faced by people with records in the employment market.”
The new law, according to LaMar, will also help the county fill approximately 800 vacant positions while ensuring that applicants should not be discouraged from applying for these positions.
“It will also benefit our community in the form of increased tax revenue and public safety,” she said. “Formerly incarcerated people who maintain consistent employment throughout the year have significantly lower recidivism rates.”
The bill does not apply to positions where it was required by law to access criminal histories, such as the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Children’s Detention Center.