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Legislation #: 130230 Introduction Date: 3/21/2013
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: none
Title: Directing the City Manager to amend the City’s employment application to eliminate the field requiring disclosure of past criminal records.

Legislation History
3/22/2013 Filed by the Clerk's office
3/21/2013 Referred to Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committtee
3/27/2013 Do Pass as a Committee Substitute
3/28/2013 Assigned Third Read Calendar as Substituted
4/4/2013 Councilmember Reed Move to Amend
4/4/2013 Councilmember Ford Further Amended
4/4/2013 Passed As a Com Sub As Amended and Further Amended

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Directing the City Manager to amend the City’s employment application to eliminate the field requiring disclosure of past criminal records.


WHEREAS, people with criminal records suffer from pervasive discrimination in many areas of life, including employment, housing, education, and eligibility for many forms of social service benefits; and


WHEREAS, the City seeks to assist with the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated people into the community after their release; and


WHEREAS, lack of employment opportunities for people with criminal records is a principal factor for recidivism, with people who are employed proving significantly less likely to be re-arrested; and


WHEREAS, removal of obstacles to employment for people with criminal records increases public health and safety by providing economic and social opportunities to large groups of citizens; and


WHEREAS, people with criminal records represent a group of job seekers who are ready to contribute and add to the workforce; and


WHEREAS, there are approximately 9,000 City residents currently on State or Federal Probation or Parole and thousands more who have successfully completed Probation/ Parole Supervision and continue to be stigmatized by old criminal records; and


WHEREAS, the City benefits directly from earnings tax paid by gainfully employed residents; and


WHEREAS, every month the greater Kansas City area becomes home to approximately 350 ex-offenders newly released from state and federal prisons; NOW, THEREFORE;




Section 1. That the City Manager shall revise the City’s employment application to eliminate the field requiring disclosure of past criminal records.


Section 2. That the City shall not inquire about an applicant’s criminal history until after it has been determined that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position, and only after the applicant has been interviewed for the position. Such inquiry may be made of all applicants who are within the final selection pool of candidates from which a job will be filled.


Section 3. That the City shall not use or access the following criminal records in relation to a background check conducted for employment purposes: records of arrests not followed by a valid conviction; convictions which have been, pursuant to law, annulled or expunged, pleas of guilty without conviction; and misdemeanor convictions where no jail sentence can be imposed. For purposes of this ordinance a violation for which a person received a suspended imposition of sentence is not a conviction.


Section 4. That the City will make final employment-related decisions based on all of the information related to an applicant’s criminal history available to the City, including the nature and gravity of the offense or offenses, the time that has passed since the applicant’s conviction or release from incarceration, the nature of the job sought and its relevance to the offense, and all evidence of rehabilitation.


Section 5. That the City urges private employers to adopt fair hiring practices that encourage the rehabilitation of people with criminal records.




Approved as to form and legality




William Geary

City Attorney