Complexity of New England Ban-the-Box Laws Highlight Reason to Work with Background Screening Agencies; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

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Ban-the-Box laws have rapidly expanded across the country and many of these laws are not equal in scope, design, or outcome; as exampled within the New England states. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: “Non-standard Ban-the-Box laws in the New England states immediately highlight the need for all employers and hiring managers to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment screening agency like CriminalBackgroundRecords.com in order to stay compliant with the complexity of these laws.”

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As witnessed by the complex laws in the New England states, companies and hiring managers should immediately work with a pre-employment background screening agency in order to remain compliant with all laws.

Ban-the-box laws can be unique to an individual state or municipality and this complexity can be highlighted in the New England states where ban-the-box laws are not equal across borders and can create confusion for hiring managers and employers. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: “With new ban-the-box laws being implemented every day, the increasing complexity of asymmetrical laws, such as in the New England states, should immediately push companies to work with a well-qualified pre-employment background screening agency in order to stay compliant with various laws governing the use of criminal background records as part of a background check.”

Not all ban-the-box laws are created equal. Each state or municipality can create laws that may have the same outcome, such as ban-the-box, but different paths of arrival. The New England states prove to be the perfect example of how laws governing pre-employment vetting and background screening are different and with smaller sized states, employer’s face the challenge of managing various and complex laws.

From JD Supra’s webpage on February 19, 2020 (jdsupra.com):

Many states and localities have been adopting “ban-the-box,” prohibiting employers (including private employers) from asking applicants to disclose information concerning their criminal histories prior to an initial interview or a conditional offer of employment. Currently, all New England states except Maine and New Hampshire have a ban-the-box law that is applicable to private employers. (1)

Almeida adds: “While the New England states have some form of ban-the-box law, either public and/or private, it is important to note that these laws may vary from state to state. This is where the confusion resides. Employees have the ability to live in one state and potentially work in another. Employers must be aware of all laws, including those in nearby states, in order to remain compliant. Working with a third-party employment screening agency remains a best practice.”

Designed to assist those with a criminal record greater entrance to mainstream employment, ban-the-box laws are complex.

From JD Supra’s webpage on February 19, 2020 (JDSupra.com):

The “ban-the-box” laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont impose restrictions on the timing of criminal history inquiries: They prohibit employers from asking an applicant to disclose his or her criminal history information until a specified point in the hiring cycle (e.g., the interview stage or after a conditional offer of employment). There are certain exemptions from such prohibition (e.g., required by law not to hire an individual convicted with certain offenses). Significantly, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont impose additional restrictions on the types of questions employers may ask even after they have passed the specified point in the hiring cycle. Further, Connecticut and Massachusetts require certain disclaimers be included in certain hiring documents. (2)

Almeida concludes: “As witnessed by the complex laws in the New England states, companies and hiring managers should immediately work with a third-party pre-employment background screening agency in order to remain compliant with laws specific to a given state and those neighboring.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and for over 17 years has maintained an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.

Notes:
(1)    jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-england-ban-the-box-trend-43838/
(2)    ibid.

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