Equal Opportunity for Ex-Cons

Ex-cons can start lining up and apply for jobs in New Haven and don’t have to offer up whether they spent time in the slammer.

In December, New Haven banned “the box,” asking if you have a criminal history on a applications for city jobs.

Tuesday night, the board of alderman expanded the ordinance to include vendors who do business with the city. They too must stop requiring people to answer that question.

New Haven is the third city in the country to extend the requirement to vendors. There are about 5,000 residents on probation or parole, the Associated Press reported last month.

Applicants who have been in trouble with the law are not completely off the hook.

The ordinance does not eliminate criminal background checks. It merely pushes the check to the end of the hiring process to allow candidates to compete for jobs based on their qualifications. 

Wednesday and Thursday, people out and about in New Haven might see flyers go up in barbershops, hair salons and other places about the job application change.

Certain city departments, including the Board of Education and police department, are exempt from this ordinance.

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