Columbus council halts no-felony hiring policy

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — The Columbus City Council has approved a motion by Councilman Kabir Karriem to stop the city’s practice of disqualifying job applicants with felonies.

The Commercial Dispatch reports the proposal also includes forming a committee to establish screening policies that will allow for past incarceration to be considered when reviewing city job applicants, but would not be the sole determining factor as to whether or not someone is hired.

The committee is to present its recommendations at the next council meeting on April 16.

On Tuesday, City Attorney Jeff Turnage cited a report from Jackson-based attorney Mark Fijman stating that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s position is that exclusion of employment consideration based on criminal history may violate Civil Rights Act.

Click video to hear audio