Ohio rolls out job forms without box on felony convictions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Applicants for civil-service jobs in Ohio are no longer being asked whether they’ve been convicted of a felony.

Ohio is joining other states and municipalities as part of the “ban the box” movement beginning Monday and removing the yes-or-no question that’s been asked of applicants to thousands of state government positions, including highway workers, prison guards, social workers and lawyers.

Ohio officials said they feared that the question deterred past offenders from seeking jobs and caused employers to miss out on qualified applicants. Opponents say the box protects against criminal risks.

Civil-service applicants will still be asked to disclose past crimes during job interviews and finalists for state positions will undergo background checks. Postings for jobs where criminal convictions are a disqualifier should make that clear.