Civil and Human Rights Coalition Applauds Federal Ban the Box Initiative, Urges President to Hold Contractors to Same Standard

Media 04.29,16

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to today’s White House announcement that the Office of Personnel Management is directing some federal agencies to “ban the box” on job applications, thereby giving formerly incarcerated job applicants a fair chance to work in government and moving these agencies closer to the model screening policies employed by many states, cities, and corporations:

“We applaud the White House for today’s announcement, which opens the door for the federal government to be a model employer and gain access to a vast untapped pool of human capital.

Banning the box makes sense for employers, for the nation, and for the workforce. Seventy million Americans have criminal records that mark them with a permanent scarlet letter that can deprive them of access to housing, financial aid for college, and employment. This makes no sense for our economy, for employers, or for the nation. 

This is an important step and we call on the President to hold federal contractors, who employ 25 percent of the American workforce, to this same standard. What’s good for jobseekers, the federal government, and some of our nation’s most prominent corporations would certainly be good for federal contractors too.”

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit