KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City is joining a growing number of communities that bar employers from asking job applicants to check a box on applications disclosing their criminal pasts.

The Kansas City Star reports that the city council approved a so-called “ban the box” ordinance Thursday. More than 150 cities and counties have passed similar measures requiring that criminal history inquiries must be deferred until later in the hiring process. The purpose is to give ex-offenders a better shot at employment.

Kansas City government adopted the policy for most city employees in 2013, while Missouri approved it for state hiring in 2016.

Councilman Jermaine Reed says it’s time for the private sector to follow suit. He sponsored the 2013 ordinance. He says many “continue to be stigmatized by old criminal records.”

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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