Screening News Network Blog

Growing Debate over Ban the Box

Ban the Box

Ban the Box legislation has taken the nation by storm. In just a few years, laws to prohibit employers from asking questions about criminal history early in the application process have multiplied. There are now 24 states, more than 100 cities and even the federal government that have adopted some kind of Ban the Box statute.

No one can say that these efforts are anything short of well-meaning. What could be better for society than to help those who have paid their debt get back on their feet and back into the workforce?

Philadelphia: When 'Ban the Box' Is 'Outside the Box'

Ban the Box

Most of us are familiar with “Ban the Box.” In its original form, ban the box laws and ordinances were created to remove the criminal history question, and its attendant Yes/No box, from employment applications. Although criminal history inquiry is permitted later in the selection process, the intent of ban the box is to ensure that applicants for employment are considered based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities rather than being automatically disqualified based on criminal history. Sometimes referred to as “Fair Chance Policies,” ban the box is designed to give applicants for employment exactly that – a fair chance for employment.

Executive Order Bans the Box

Ban the Box

Earlier this week President Barack Obama announced an Executive Order to ‘Ban the Box’ for all federal employers.  More than 600,000 people are released from state and federal prisons each year. Under this Executive Order, the box asking if you have a criminal record must be removed from all federal job applications. Employers WILL be able to do background checks and ask questions regarding criminal history once the applicant has reached the interview stage of the process. See the president’s comments about Ban the Box here.

Legislative Alert - June 25, 2015: I-9, Hair Tests and Banning the Box

Legislative Alerts, Drug Testing, Ban the Box, Form I-9 E-Verify


No Reporting Limits in Nevada

Consumer reporting agencies are now allowed to report criminal convictions from the state of Nevada that are more than 7 years old. Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 409 which basically removes any time limitations on reporting criminal records. The bill also allows gaming operators and employers to do more thorough background checks on job applicants by allowing CRAs to reports bankruptcy information that is more than 10 years old. 

Ripple Effects - Activity in Employment Screening

Ban the Box, EEOC & FCRA

The level of legislative activity, regulatory guidance, and litigation surrounding background checks for employment screening has never been higher. And, as onerous litigation and multi-million dollar settlements become increasingly common, the stakes have never been higher for employers as they seek to balance external requirements with their legitimate business needs. Three recent actions follow, along with ripple effects.

Ban the Box Slip-Ups Cost Companies Cash

Ban the Box

Don’t ask about criminal history until the interview stage or until a conditional job offer has been extended.  Ban the Box seems pretty straight forward, but unexpected slip-ups have already led to citations and fines in Minnesota.  The state’s law went into effect on January 1st.  Over the course of the year the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has investigated more than 50 complaints about applications violating the ban the box law.

Legislative Alert – September 18, 2014 Screening News Update

Background Checks, Legislative Alerts, Ban the Box, Legalizing Marijuana, Education


EBI is proud to present our new Screening News Update videos. We will continue to publish the text version of our Legislative Alerts, but now you will also have the option to view them as broadcasts from our EBI Screening News Network studio. We hope you enjoy this new feature!

This week's topics include:

  • San Fran Bans the Box
  • The New York Times supports legalizing marijuana
  • Texas officially shuts down Houston diploma mill