CHICAGO (CBS) — A state lawmaker on Tuesday called on all businesses to ban the practice of asking job applicants whether they have a criminal record.

Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) was behind a new state directive that bans the practice for state agency hires.

Citing Target Corp.’s plan to “ban the box” on its job applications, Ford said a news release that more businesses should do the same.

Earlier this month, Gov. Pat Quinn directed Illinois agencies to remove the question on state employment applications, which asks whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony.

“By ‘banning the box’, more and more businesses demonstrate that it is good for business and it is the right thing to do,” said Ford. “Businesses can still do background checks later in the application process.”

Minneapolis-based Target announced its plan to change its applications next year. Minnesota passed a law that takes effect on Jan. 1 that prohibits all employers from asking the question on applications.

Target plans to roll out its program nationwide, according to a report in the Star-Tribune.

“We will continue the work to advance legislation so [Quinn’s order] which bans the box on state job applications becomes an Illinois state statute,” said Ford.