Government

Waterloo bans many employers from asking early questions about criminal history

Waterloo, Iowa aerial photo looking NW with Cedar River and downtown at center right, John Deere plant center, above top bridge, far side of river, Oct. 6, 2004. (Gazette photo)
Waterloo, Iowa aerial photo looking NW with Cedar River and downtown at center right, John Deere plant center, above top bridge, far side of river, Oct. 6, 2004. (Gazette photo)

WATERLOO, Iowa — Officials in Waterloo have approved a measure banning the city and many businesses from asking about applicants’ criminal records in early stages of the hiring process.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the City Council on Monday night approved a so-called “ban-the-box” ordinance. It doesn’t let employers ask about an applicant’s criminal history until after making a conditional job offer.

The measure is intended to ensure people with criminal convictions get a fair chance of getting jobs.

Similar measures have been passed around the country, but Waterloo is the first city in Iowa to approve such an ordinance.

The measure applies to businesses with at least 15 employees and the city government.

It will be several weeks before the measure takes effect, and the council is scheduled to discuss minor changes later this month.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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