There was standing room only as the employed and job seekers gave their thoughts on Ban the Box at Virginia Cares. Delegate Sam Rasoul has been very vocal with state leaders about the issue.
“At least you have a fair opportunity to sit down and have an honest face to face interview with someone so they get to judge you based upon who you are as opposed to what they see on paper,” Rasoul.
Rasoul says it wouldn't stop the employer from running a background check, it would just allow the ex-offender who's applying to have an equal chance.
Johnny Lawson knows the reality all too well and was just released from prison in December. He says finding a job was hard. He's been working in the food service industry for two weeks.
“I just feel like for us it's an opportunity to express to people what happened, why it happened and that we have changed,” said Lawson.
It's a change, according to some, that goes unnoticed, because of the little box.
Shawn Hunter is the employment specialist at Virginia Cares. He helps ex-offender find jobs and says it's hard because some employers don't look twice at applications, if the box is checked asking if you have been convicted of a crime.
“What happens most of the time is when an employer sees that the box is checked; a person has been convicted of a felony a whole lot of time it doesn't go any further than that,” said Lawson.
Rasoul says he believes that there will be different legislation that will be introduced next year on the initiative.