City council mulling removing criminal history question from applications

Updated: 04/03/2014 11:27 PM
Created: 04/03/2014 8:24 PM WHEC.com

If you or someone you know is applying for a job in the city, you could soon have one less question to answer. That question is, “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Soon, City Council could vote on if that line would be removed from the application. This would mean any vendor or employer in the city would have to take it off the paper application.

Councilman Adam McFadden says it is about giving everyone an equal chance at a job. But not everyone is convinced this is the best way to do it. 

Jordan Stewart said, “It is tough to call, you want to be able to give people a second chance and make sure you are not just focusing on people's past and make sure they are able to recover and have a bright future.”

Kollina Dacko said, “I also think that it depends on the type of crime they were convicted of and what exactly they would be working with.”

Rochester City Council could soon be deciding if the question about being convicted of a crime on a job application should stay or go. City Councilman Adam McFadden says removing the question would give people a better chance at getting hired.

Adam McFadden, City Council, said, “Because nine times out of ten, the application actually goes into another pile that is not even considered.

McFadden says there is a time and a place for that question to come up. He feels that is in the face-to-face interview.

McFadden said, “If it hinders them from getting employment, then so be it. But I don't want people to making judges based on a box, where people don't have a chance to tell their side of the story.”

Dacko said, “They are trying to start over a new leaf and they should get an equal opportunity to start over and maybe not repeat the cycle.”

McFadden said, “These people have served their time, many of them have paid their debt. A lot of them we don't even know the circumstances of what they were arrested for. It could be something that we consider to be okay.”

McFadden says he will hold a public forum this month and the legislation calling to remove the question could be voted on at City Council this summer.

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