The Waterloo city council approved the amendments on a narrow 4-3 vote Monday night, following another heated debate concerning the so-called “ban-the-box” ordinance.

The amendments clarify that businesses with 15 or more employees can’t ask job candidates about their criminal backgrounds prior to extending a conditional offer of employment, clarifies that employers are required to follow federal and state laws related to background checks, and outlines the required procedure to investigate businesses suspected of violating the ordinance.

The “Fair Chance Initiative” has been a hot-button issue at several city council the past two months. The city council formally passed the ordinance on October 7th, making the city of Waterloo the first in Iowa to join the “ban-the-box” movement.
Waterloo “Fair Chance Ordinance” isn’t scheduled to go into effect until July of 2020.

(By Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Waterloo)