'Ban the Box' policy vote postponed in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'Ban the Box' policy vote postponed in Waterloo

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Banning the box.

It's a movement to have the question "have you ever committed a crime" removed from certain applications, and the vote on the whole issue is postponed in Waterloo.

If the question was removed from applications, an employer could still later on ask a potential employee if they have committed a crime.

The director of the Waterloo Human Rights Commission says it's better this way, but some local employers don't agree.

Darin Beck owns ten businesses in the Cedar Valley, and says he's in the "second chance" business.

"It rarely would influence whether a person is going to get an interview with our company or not," said Beck.

He prefers for the box to be kept on applications, saying the box makes the process easier for everyone.

"It's less awkward to be able to check the box, and fill a brief description of what was going on in your life, then having to talk about it in an interview. We just don't like the interview to center around those types of questions," said Beck.

Earl Kruse does business with Beck, and says he knows this personally.

"I've always been honest with Darin, he knows exactly what I've done, I've never lied to him," said Kruse.

Kruse says he has assault charges on his record, an incident stemming from more than a decade ago.

He says he's always been upfront with Beck, and he too prefers keeping the box, "everybody has skeletons in their closet, but they grow up."

Abraham Funchess, Executive Director on the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights is fronting the movement to ban the box.

He says it's great Beck doesn't use the box as a determining factor pre-interview, but doesn't believe every employer has the same mentality.

"We want other entities to follow suit, to ensure that all people with criminal arrest backgrounds will get a fair chance at employment in this city," said Funchess.

It's not clear how the city will vote on the policy, but Funchess said he wants to make sure the community fully understands it before they move forward.

He said there is no time line determined when he will bring the vote to the council again.

He said it could be very soon, or as late as next year.

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