Offers a Professional Commentary on Changes in Legislation Regarding Ban-The-Box

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'Ban the Box' legislation is expanding across the country and businesses large and small will be faced with implementing and understanding new regulations governing hiring and the use of Criminal History Records as part of that process. is offering a professional best-practice review for business regarding recent legislative change.

Criminal Background Records

Criminal Background Records

The negative is it in some ways may lengthen the hiring process, however the positive is that it will give some worthy candidates a better shot at gainful employment that otherwise would not have been possible.

'Ban the box' is a movement spreading across the country and advocated by those seeking criminal justice policy reform. Essentially, 'ban the box' eliminates the question of whether or not an applicant has a criminal history as defined by law. On an application criminal history is indicated with a simple yes or no question, one that generally requires the applicant to expand upon a 'yes' response. It is felt by many that a 'yes' response automatically disqualifies a candidate prior to the evaluation and/or interview process and, subsequently, unfairly discriminates against otherwise well-qualified candidates from legitimate employment.

From the Formerly Convicted Criminals Project:

Ban the Box is a nationwide effort to remove criminal history inquiry; i.e. “the box” from employer job applications. All employers have the right to know an applicant’s conviction history but the inquiry should be deferred until later in the interview process and not utilized as an automatic bar to employment at the application stage.

The 'Ban the Box' doesn’t necessarily eliminate the use of criminal histories as part of the pre-employment vetting process rather it postpones it. And, in some areas, checking the box will still be mandated.
Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: "Even if the ban the box initiative is embraced nationally most employers will still get permission from candidates to perform criminal background checks on them and these background reports can be used in making a hiring decision.”

'Ban the box' legislation is gaining momentum.

In Minnesota legislation has been approved that would 'ban the box' on all public sector employment applications.

(Apr 22, 2013) The city of Minneapolis and then the state have removed the question from consideration of public applicants until the interview — or later in the hiring process.

In Rhode Island legislation has recently been introduced in regards to 'ban the box.' One key motivation behind Rhode Island's action is to pro-actively assist individuals that may be hampered by a criminal history.
(May 5, 2013) ... emphasized the importance of the bill for alleviating discrimination against people of color in the state, helping to combat recidivism and racial profiling in job applications.

While states grapple with this issue cities have taken up the challenge as well. Kansas City has recently enacted 'ban the box' legislation. Syracuse, New York has just begun the process of investigation and has faced challenges from business.

Almeida said: "Ban the box legislation delays the use of any criminal records history until after the interview and, often, after a conditional offer. The negative is it in some ways may lengthen the hiring process, however the positive is that it will give some worthy candidates a better shot at gainful employment that otherwise would not have been possible."

From the Formerly Convicted Citizens Project:

Ban the Box does NOT obligate employers to hire people with criminal records, it just affords applicants a better chance of being evaluated based on their qualifications for a job. It does not give anyone an unfair advantage nor does it prevent any employer from hiring the candidate they think is best for a job.

In the end 'Ban the Box' legislation will be a topic of conversation that will continue to be on the minds of hiring managers and HR Departments, as will the use of criminal histories as part of pre-employment screening. As one can see legislation can come from both state and city levels, and the extent and depth of 'ban the box' legislation can affect a companies' ability to use criminal histories varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Almeida states in closing: "Using a third-party background screening company, such as, really is the best way to understand the regulations governing the use of any report for pre-employment screening purposes and as legislation continues to rapidly change it is highly recommended to partner with a third-party screener to help maintain compliance with current law." is offering a professional best-practice review of business pre-employment policies as they pertain to the use of Criminal Record Histories and ban-the-box regulations. has a highly trained and knowledgeable staff that can assist companies large and small in staying compliant with all local, state, and federal regulations that govern background screening.

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