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Target 'bans the box' on job applications

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Minneapolis-based Target Corp. says the company will no longer ask job applicants about their criminal histories.

The announcement comes five months after Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed a "ban the box" measure into state law, which goes int0 effect on Jan. 1.

The Star Tribune said since Target is required to remove the box on applications to comply with Minnesota law, it made sense to implement the policy nationwide, according to Jim Rowander, Target's vice president and general counsel of employee and labor relations.

Target is Minnesota's third-largest employer with close to 1,800 stores and 362,000 employees nationwide, the newspaper said.

Supporters of the policy say applications shouldn't automatically be discarded when the "are-you-a-felon?" box is checked and applicants should get the chance to explain their pasts to prospective employers during the interview process.

California Gov. Jerry Brown also signed a ban-the-box bill that applies to government employers earlier this month.

According to the National Employment Law Project, 10 states and over 50 cities across the United States have enacted similar policies.

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