'Ban the box' employment bill passes La. House, advances to Senate
BATON ROUGE - State representatives cheered as a bid to block state employers from asking about job applicants' criminal histories before interviews cleared the Louisiana House.
Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, a Baton Rouge Democrat, says her "ban the box" proposal is a bipartisan push aimed at employing former inmates, reducing recidivism and reforming the state's criminal justice system.
The proposal applies to the state's politically-appointed "unclassified" employees and not rank-and-file "classified" state workers subject to Louisiana's civil service system.
The House voted 53-39 for the proposal, the minimum support needed for passage. The measure moves next to the Senate.
Opponents say former inmates should notify employers about convictions early in the hiring process, but supporters counter that prospective employers can still ask applicants about criminal histories during interviews.