Bill proposed to ban employers from asking about criminal past - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Proposed DC bill seeks to ban employers from asking about person's criminal past

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If you are convicted of a crime, you are required to do your time. But should the crime affect your ability to get a job in the future?

Proposed legislation in D.C. would ban employers from asking about a person's criminal past until after a job offer is made. The job then couldn't be rescinded when the employers learns about the past record unless the crime would affect the job.

Lawmakers are taking sides on this issue, but it did pass a committee vote.

Councilmember Marion Barry says that employers are currently discriminating against those who have a criminal record by asking if they committed crimes in the past. Barry believes everyone deserves new chances after making mistakes.

Calvin Woodland, who is now Councilmember Jim Graham's Chief of Staff, was given a second chance after being arrested 38 times for crimes connected to drug sales in the 1980s. Graham hired Woodland to work on his first council campaign. Woodland worked as a staff member for Graham and was promoted to Chief of Staff two years ago.

Woodland is worried about others who are having a hard time getting a job after getting into trouble in the past.

"When they come home and they are trying to put their lives together, and they can't get any support, they can't find a job, they can't find housing," said Woodland. "What are they going to do?"

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