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Ohio to remove box on convictions from job form

COLUMBUS (AP) — Starting June 1, Ohio is removing the checkbox about past felony convictions from its civil service application.

State officials say they’re voluntarily joining the “ban the box” movement amid growing national concern that the little checkbox about a person’s criminal history can deter ex-offenders from seeking jobs and cause employers to miss out on qualified applicants.

Human resources officers at Ohio agencies were being briefed on the change this week. Ohio hires about 4,000 civil service employees annually.

Administrative Services Director Robert Blair says it’s impossible to know how many jobseekers Ohio has rejected because they checked the box.

Applicants will still be asked to disclose past crimes during job interviews and undergo background checks, but Blair said the new practice allows people to explain the circumstances surrounding their offenses.