Jewel-Osco stops asking about criminal history on job applications in advance of pending legislation

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Jewel-Osco has decided to wait to ask job applicants about their criminal histories until the final stages of hiring, a practice that many other Illinois business would have to adopt if a bill pending in the legislature is approved.

Jewel-OscoThe Chicago-area’s biggest grocery chain said Friday that it removed the question from its application in March.

The company said it aims to find the best possible candidates for the job without quickly discriminating against those with felony convictions, who may be upstanding members of the community.

House Bill 5701, known as the “Best Candidate for the Job Act,” would bar businesses with 15 employees or more from inquiring about, or requiring applicants to disclose, their criminal records before offering the individual a job interview or a conditional offer of employment. After an interview is offered, the employer would be free to conduct a background check.

The bill, with a hearing scheduled Wednesday in Springfield, has passed the House and is expected to win approval from the Senate.

See the Chicago Tribune for more on this story.

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  • Pat

    Lets put law abiding citizens on the same level with rapists and murderers. Maybe we should just start hiring straight from prisons.

  • J edward Brown III

    This is smoke and mirrors from Jewels. They will stop asking the question about past felonies, but they will still do a background check. Which will dis-qualify the same if not more people from those part time low wage jobs. The practice is only being re-vamped to make a good dog and pony show for the public, without changing a thing. And young men and women that made mistakes in the past, will be in the same boat as they were before. No help, no hope, and no jobs. Thanks Jewels for the dog and pony show of the day!

  • Todd Schishler

    A felony is a highly probable indicator of future behavior. Why should that not be the grounds for determining if a candidate is qualified or not.