Los Angeles is the latest major city to pass a Ban the Box measure (Ordinance 184652) applicable to private employers. It will become effective January 22, 2017 and will be enforced beginning in July 2017.
Other major cities with Ban the Box laws include:
And don’t forget that eight states have Ban the Box measures on their books which are applicable to private employers — HI, IL, MA, MN, NJ, OR, RI, VT.
In its most basic form it means that an employer cannot ask on the job application about criminal history (i.e., arrests or convictions). Generally, an employer must wait until a conditional offer of employment has been extended to inquire about criminal history and conduct a background check. Ban the Box moves the criminal history inquiry until later in the process to afford ex-offenders the opportunity to be judged on their merit and not their past. At least in theory that’s what is supposed to happen as a result of Ban the Box measures, which are often referred to as fair hiring policies.
But, nothing in life is simple.
Often, Ban the Box measures go beyond simply requiring employers remove the criminal history question from the job application and they include additional requirements, such as requiring:
For employers in a jurisdiction that has a Ban the Box law it’s important to understand what your obligations are. A comprehensive background screening policy will assist any employer seeking compliance with federal and state law. If that is on your “to do” list for 2017, we can assist in developing policies and procedures.
This blog originally appeared on www.workforcecomplianceinsights.com.
Montserrat Miller is a partner at Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP in Washington, D.C. She advises her clients on legal, regulatory and compliance issues and risk mitigation. She also provides government affairs representation. She is co-chair of the firm’s Background Screening Industry Group and served as Washington Counsel to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).