Category: Public Policy
There has been a slight change in Michigan’s ban on “Ban-the-Box” ordinances.
And a slight change it is.
On Friday, September 7, 2018, the term-limited Governor Rick Snyder, signed an executive-directive ordering all Michigan departments to remove questions about criminal histories from state job applications effective October 1, 2018.
More specifically, applications will no longer ask questions about prior felony convictions.
Furthermore, the governor has also asked the Office of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to remove criminal background questions from licensing applications for skilled-trade workers except where required by federal or state law.
That is, some professional licensing depending on the industry may or may not require a criminal background screening.
The good news for returning citizens is that this will prevent state departments from utilizing criminal histories as an initial screening for employment.
On the other hand, applicants seeking employment with the state will only be temporarily relieved of criminal background checks as they may be required to authorize it if offered employment after the initial application.
The bad news is that this new change of heart for the governor did not cause him to reverse the law in Michigan which bans “Ban-the-Box” ordinances in our state. Neither did he apply his generosity to the private sector. He only states the hope that the initiative will work and other public and private employers will follow suit.
Remember, this comes after he signed the “Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act” into law on March 26, 2018. The law states that cities and counties located in the State of Michigan are, in fact, prohibited from adopting "ban-the-box" ordinances for felony convictions.
So, we’ll see how this pans out.
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Welcome to The Community Advocate Network. My name is Deborah Mitchell, I am a graduate in Social Work and Registered Social Work Technician. My human service background began in 2007 which includes medical case management and service navigation for the indigent population, outpatient mental health counseling with substance use and abuse disorders, supportive employment and job development for mental health consumers, and structured living domicile management.