By Mike Dunn

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new Philadelphia law restricting the ability of employers to ask applicants about criminal records goes into effect today.

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Its called “Ban the Box:” a law that prohibits employers in Philadelphia from putting that checkbox on job applications and from asking about ex-offender status during a first interview. Such questions are allowed during a follow-up interview.

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Supporters of the idea say the goal is help ex-offenders at least get a foot in the door — and perhaps make a good impression — before having to spell out a criminal history.  Brian Anderson, president of the Judge Group, a computer consulting and staffing firm in West Conshohocken, agrees.

“I think it’ll be effective, and I think employers will find additional qualified talent that they may not have found in the past.”

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Anderson says it’ll help particularly help people with minor offenses on their records get a start in their careers. Employers who keep using the checkbox on initial job applications could face two-thousand dollar fines for each infraction.