The Koch brothers have joined a growing movement in corporate America, as their company, Koch Industries removes all questions regarding a prospective employees criminal history from their applications. The company is one of the largest privately held corporations in America, is owned by Charles and David Koch, both of whom are extremely strong supporters of criminal justice reform.
“The “ban the box” program urges companies to wait until prospective employees are being interviewed or have a tentative job offer before asking about their criminal histories. Proponents said it will give ex-felons and others with criminal records a better shot at employment if they are not rejected at the very start of the hiring process.
“The fact that more and more of our nation’s major employers — including a company like Koch Industries that is synonymous with conservative politics — are choosing to embrace fair-hiring policies shows that this is an idea with broad appeal whose time has come,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.”
Their new hiring policies aligns with other companies such as Target, Apple and several State agencies that have either removed criminal history questions or have made polices regarding the hiring of ex-felons more than lenient.
Koch Industries states that on its part, criminal activity is information that will be discovered when they do their more in-depth background checks on their new hires. It appears the company hired over 9,100 people worldwide last year, but was unable to give USA Today an accurate number of ex-felons that were hired.
The federal government already has laws in place that forbids discrimination of prospective employees based on past criminal history, and it also offers a substantial tax credit for companies that hire them.