ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced the city will no longer ask applicants on an application if they have been convicted of a felony.
Slay said having a question on an application about whether a candidate for a job has committed a felony makes it harder for millions of Americans to find a job.
“This is how you fight crime, by creating jobs,” said Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, (D-St. Louis).
Nasheed said banning the question will create more opportunities for ex-cons and could cut down on repeat offenders in African American community, where Nasheed estimates unemployment to be as high as 20 percent.
“We have a massive, massive unemployment rate among young African American males who have been convicted of felony charges. This here will open up the door for opportunity,” Nasheed said.
Applicants will no longer have to divulge a conviction on an application but Slay said background checks will still be conducted and taken into consideration in the hiring process. The policy only applies to those who work for the city and not to the private sector.
“This is a common sense approach. We would not hire a child molester for recreation programs and we would not hire an embezzler to handle money,” Slay said.
Nasheed said she is considering proposing a similar ban for state agencies.