Michigan Passes New Ban-the-Box Law

By Kelsey Basten

Published on September 18, 2018

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder passed a new ban-the-box law Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. The law removes the question, “Have you been convicted of a felony?”, from state job applications. The box will be replaced with an affirmation of good character statement.

Also, Gov. Snyder is encouraging private employers to remove the box on their job applications or move the question to later in the hiring process.

Currently, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) sponsors two “Vocational Villages”, training centers to prepare inmates for skilled jobs upon release. Gov. Snyder is now working with these programs to ensure they meet the moral character determination.

A few other jurisdictions that have recently passed ban-the-box laws include Washington State and California.

Ban-the-box laws fall under the category of discrimination law. However, discrimination law is not always limited to ban-the-box. Other forms include:

  • Sexual orientation and gender identification
  • Equal pay
  • Criminal history
  • Veteran status
  • Reproductive health decisions
  • Unemployment status

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