Marion Barry wants legal protection for ex-offenders who apply for jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — District of Columbia Councilman Marion Barry is pushing legislation to give ex-offenders legal protections against discrimination when they apply for jobs.

The Washington Post reports Barry wants to add the words "past arrests and convictions" to the district's Human Rights Act. That law bans discrimination based on race, sex, age, sexual orientation and other factors.

Employers could inquire about a past criminal record only after making a conditional job offer. If that offer is rescinded based on a past arrest, the employer would have to submit documentation explaining why.

The idea worries some in the business community.

D.C. Chamber of Commerce spokesman Max Farrow says business leaders oppose the bill because it would add "red tape," lead to more lawsuits and reward people for bad choices in the past.