Good news for job seekers in the Charlotte area with a criminal history - Target has decided to 'ban the box' nationally, removing the box that requests applicants to disclose any prior criminal problems on the application form. The corporation has stated that it is its goal, nationwide, to assist in the reintegration of those who have been through the criminal justice system by offering more jobs to convicted ex-offenders.
The move by the giant retailer may open up new employment opportunities for those with criminal records in the Charlotte area. There are at least 8 of the retail store in the Charlotte metro. The program is expected to roll out from the corporate office sometime after the new year. Target is partnering with the Council on Crime and Justice in its efforts to ensure that ex-offenders are given a fair shot at employment and that only more serious crimes are included on background checks provided to hiring managers.
To be clear, job applicants will still be subject to a background check and drug check, but they will have an opportunity to "get their foot in the door" before those steps are taken. The move to ban the box from job applications means that the potential bias of eliminating job applications simply because the box was checked will no longer exist.
The Charlotte City Council considered banning the box for all employers in the metro earlier this year, but that effort has not yet met with success.
Source: MPR News, "At Target, criminal history check box ends for job applicants," October 25, 2013