- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to expand a state law that prevents employers from asking job seekers about their criminal records before offering them an interview.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill this year to “ban the box.” That’s a reference to the box on many employment applications that asks if an applicant has been arrested or convicted of a crime. The law applies to companies with 15 or more employees.

Emanuel proposed a city ordinance Monday that would extend the requirement to about 45,000 Chicago businesses with fewer than 15 employees.

Emanuel says qualified people too often are denied a shot at entry-level jobs because they have to acknowledge an arrest.

He says the ordinance will remove hurdles and give people “a real path to the middle class.”

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