Providing investigative services tailored to the business community introduced me to small business owners. Many of them, as well as myself, with questions about the logistical and legal issues faced by businesses. This blog was started to address the questions. Although I’ve moved on from the investigative field there is still a desire to offer common sense solutions to small business owners. Sometimes we cover non business issues. Hope you enjoy reading. Please feel free to share. Subscribe
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Ban the box update
NOTE: This post was
originally published in August 2016 and has been updated with more recent data.
The Ban the Box movement was initially reviewed in this blog in the 2013 post, Should the box be banned? As the movement has continued to grow this blog has updated
the progress. The attention drawn to employment applications has now carried
over to college admission applications as well.
What is “Ban the Box”?
For the last several years there has been a movement to
remove from employment applications the “box” that asks the question, “Have you
ever been convicted of a crime” or any inquiry about criminal history. What has
become known as“ban the box”, the
campaign feels that one’s criminal history should not be a consideration of
employment at the time an application is submitted, rather, at a later time
during the interview process. It is felt that asking this question on the
application reduces the chances of those with criminal records to be employed.
Employers should meet applicants first, get to know them, give a chance to
explain themselves and then get to the criminal history. The Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated its policies, issuing guidelines in
2012 suggesting that employers wait until after a personal interview before
making inquiries about criminal history.
In January 2014, there were fifty-six cities that had
“banned the box”. As of January 2018, that list included over 150 cities and
counties, and 30 States (Ten of which have laws that include private employers)
CURRENT STATE LIST
Arizona Louisiana Ohio
California* Maryland Oklahoma
Colorado Massachusetts* Oregon*
Connecticut* Minnesota* Pennsylvania
Delaware Missouri Rhode Island*
Georgia Nebraska Tennessee
Hawaii* Nevada Utah
Illinois* New Jersey* Vermont*
Indiana New Mexico Virginia
Kentucky New York Wisconsin
*States with laws
that also cover private employers
Maryland Ban the Box
law took effect October 1, 2013, and applies only to State of Maryland
employment applications. State government cannot ask about criminal record or
criminal history of an applicant until the applicant has been provided an
opportunity for an interview. Exempt from the law are positions in the
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Baltimore passed a
similar law in 2014, restricting employers with 10 or more workers from
asking a candidate about criminal records until after a conditional employment
offer is made.
Colleges Ban the Box
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education requested that
colleges and universities voluntarily remove criminal history questions from
applications. Throughout the U.S. some colleges and universities have taken the
request into consideration and removed the questions. States have been slow to
In 2017, Louisiana became
the first state to enact a ban the box law for state institutions. Maryland
passed a law in 2017, but the Governor vetoed it. In January 2018, the Maryland
legislature overrode the Governor’s veto, reinstating the law.