“Ban the box” began as a reform measure meant to prevent employers from asking about criminal convictions on employment applications to avoid unnecessary prejudice against the candidate. “Ban the box” removes convictions as a first barrier to employment and allows for further discussion with the candidate. The “ban the box” movement continues to spread across the nation and has become more defined in some cases beyond the original concept. Currently, there are 13 states and 1 District that have passed legislation to accommodate the legislation. Of those, 11 states have distinct restrictions in three main categories:
Use of criminal record only after conditional offer of employment
• Delaware: Affects government contractors and public government employers only
• Hawaii: Non-conviction information cannot be considered; however, there are 18 employer exceptions to this limitation
• Vermont: (Pending legislation, effective 3/1/15) Employers with more than 15 employees over 20 weeks must comply with the limitations within The Opportunity to Compete Act
• Minnesota: Information about convictions may be obtained from the candidate at the first interview; if no interviews are conducted, information regarding criminal convictions may not be obtained until the conditional offer of employment is presented to the applicant
• Washington D.C. (Pending legislation, effective 10/1/14) Employers with 10 or more employees must refrain from asking about convictions, arrests, or accusations until a conditional employment offer is made. Further, the employment offer may only be withdrawn based on criminal conviction information for “legitimate business reasons” as defined by the law
Use of criminal record only at or after the interview
• Rhode Island
Use of criminal record only after applicant meets minimum employment qualifications
• Illinois (effective 1/1/15)
• New Jersey (effective 3/1/15)
Many counties, cities, and employers, both public and private, have implemented versions of “ban the box.” This is the case in the following states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Employers must be cognizant of the “ban the box” requirements in every state, city, and municipality that they operate within. As the employment and criminal background screening company you can trust, The Cedalius Group strives to offer our clients the most comprehensive, up-to-date information on “ban the box” legislation at every level. Call us today at 404.963.9772 to obtain the latest “ban the box” information.
The foregoing information is not offered as legal advice but is instead offered for informational purposes. The Cedalius Group is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice and this communication does not form an attorney client relationship. The foregoing information is therefore not intended as a substitute for the legal advice of a lawyer knowledgeable of the user’s individual circumstances or to provide legal advice. The Cedalius Group makes no assurances regarding the accuracy, completeness, currency or utility of the following information. Legislative, regulatory and case law developments regularly impact on general research and this area is evolving rapidly.