71% say remove blanket bans on hiring of job seekers with minor criminal offenses: Kelly survey


Research by Kelly (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) found that 71% of Americans say employers should eliminate or reduce blanket bans that automatically reject job seekers with minor, non-violent criminal offenses on their record.

The survey was conducted as part of National Second Chance Month and is part of Kelly’s Equity@Work initiative to remove systematic barriers to work.

“Nearly one in three Americans now have a criminal history of some kind, and many are non-violent offenders unable to access work because of unjust blanket-bans companies have in place,” Kelly President and CEO Peter Quigley said.

“We discourage these blanket-bans and have changed our internal hiring practices to move to individualized reviews in order to provide fulltime employment opportunities to second-chance candidates,” Quigley said. “We’re collaborating with leading companies to do the same and encourage others to make more second chances possible, as well.”

Other findings in Kelly’s survey:

  • 64% of Americans say non-violent mistakes made in the past should not automatically disqualify a person from being able to find employment.
  • 76% are more likely to support businesses committed to breaking down discriminatory barriers that prevent Americans from finding employment.
  • 81% say companies should do more to remove discriminatory hiring policies or practices that keep people from being hired or promoted.
  • 90% say access to employment is important to have a good quality of life in America.

“Second chances are not just good for people, they are good for business and our national economy,” Quigley said. “The non-integration of those with a criminal history costs the US nearly $80 billion annually. When we knock this barrier down, companies will significantly increase their talent pool, reduce turnover rates, improve diversity, equity and inclusion, and ultimately save money.”

Last year, Kelly updated its own policy around minor drug offenses — specifically marijuana convictions — to provide people with low-level criminal offenses greater access to work within the company. Kelly also said it is using technology across its job posting language to facilitate equitable and inclusive terminology.

The survey took place online between Feb. 8 and Feb. 12. It was conducted by Atomik Research and included 1,010 US adults.