In an executive order issued today, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer instructed all Executive Branch departments, agencies, boards and commissions under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Governor to “ensure that job applicants are not asked about their criminal record during the initial stage of a state employment application.”
“Studies have shown that gainful employment is a major factor in reducing recidivism rate among former offenders,” said Gov. Colyer. “This is simply about treating people as individuals and allowing them to explain their circumstances at a later point in the process.”
It is important to note that this order still allows companies to perform background checks and also allows them to exclude applicants if laws or regulations state they cannot hold a specific position because of their criminal history.
This initiative was supported two years ago by Kansas native, Charles Koch and his brother, David. They sought to ‘ban the box’ on job applications where you say if you’ve been convicted of a felony.