Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Burgess Says Remove Felony Conviction Box

Pittsburgh City Council was scheduled to take a preliminary vote today on Ricky Burgess's legislation that would remove a question on city application jobs asking if applicants had a felony conviction. Burgess called it a "discriminatory practice."

Council put off the vote until they can hold a public hearing and a post-agenda meeting on the issue.

Over a dozen speakers spoke during the public comment portion of Wednesday's meeting, many of them convicted felons who said checking the box made it harder for them to find employment.

"How do you get ahead, what do you do?" asked Brandi Boyd, a convicted felon. "Do you look back into your past or are you trying to move forward? But how do you move forward if your not given an opportunity? It's hard."

Others said the legislation should go further and make it illegal for any employer to ask such a question.

Other cities have recently passed similar legislation.

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