Gov. Polis signs ‘Ban the Box’ bill into law

DENVER -- Gov. Jared Polis made Colorado the 12th state in the nation to "ban the box" Tuesday.

The legislation prohibits employers in the public and private sector from asking about criminal history on job applications. Employers could still run background checks.

The new law is aimed at giving people like Majid Mohammed a second chance.

"When I was 17 years old, I was convicted of robbery," Mohammed said. "The application is the first thing that an employer sees."

According to Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver), the bill will take effect in September 2019 for companies with 11 employees or more. Smaller businesses have until September 2021.

Rob McGowen, owner of Dai Kon sandwiches in Denver, says the new law will change the hiring culture in Colorado. McGowen supports the law.

"I think it will be harder for people to instantly say no before digging a little further," McGowen said.

McGowen believes it will put more emphasis on the in-person interview and increase the likelihood an employer runs a background check.

"Really, it's about the interview and how do you present yourself?" McGowen said.

In addition, Polis signed into law Tuesday a measure banning Colorado public colleges and universities from asking about criminal history on a college application.

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