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Pittsburgh removes criminal history question from job applications

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Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 2:08 p.m.

Job seekers no longer have to confirm criminal convictions on employment applications with the city of Pittsburgh.

City Council passed legislation on Monday that removes a criminal history question from all job applications. The legislation also requires vendors who do business with the city to remove the question from their applications.

Councilman Ricky Burgess, who sponsored the legislation, said former convicts have been automatically disqualified from work in the past because they checked a box asking if they have been convicted of a crime. The bill, he said, now allows them to get past the first hiring phase. City officials can still ask criminal history questions during job interviews, allowing candidates to explain their circumstances.

Council debated the issue for at least three years before passing the bill unanimously.

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