MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md (WDVM) — A new bill was introduced to the montgomery county council this week to prohibit criminal background checks on job applicants until after a conditional job offer has been made.

The bill expands the scope of the “Ban the box” law already in place, prohibiting businesses with more than 15 employees from asking about an applicant’s criminal record on the job application.

Councilmember Will Jawando sponsored the bill, saying the expansion would now apply to the businesses with fewer than 15 employees which make up more than 70% of county businesses.

“We don’t want to have any barriers in the way for them to get gainful employment,” Jawando said. “We want to make sure that we get the economy back moving, and we’re going to need everybody…”

A public hearing on the legislation has been scheduled and is set to be heard at 1:30 p.m. on September 15.