What You Need to Know about Ban the Box Legislation

It is important for employers and hiring managers to be aware that leading screening professionals have predicted that “ban the box” legislation and policies will become more and more prevalent across the nation. In fact, Ban the Box laws have been adopted in 24 states already and over 150 cities. This means that those making hiring decisions will need to tread with increased caution as they process candidates with criminal histories.

What is Ban the Box?

The Ban the Box movement began with the intention of protecting job applicants with criminal records from immediate disqualification based on their criminal history. Under Ban the Box, employers may not use the existence of a criminal record as the sole reason they do not extend a job offer, unless the nature of the job in question creates an exception.

Essentially, the phrase “ban the box” means the removal of the question (or questions like it), “Do you have a criminal record?” that requires the applicant to answer “Yes” or “No,” from preliminary job applications, whether physical or electronic. The idea is that everyone deserves a fair shot at employment and applicants should be judged first on their knowledge, skills, and abilities before the mistakes of their past are used to immediately disqualify them.

What Ban the Box is NOT

Ban the Box is not the negation of criminal background checks. They are still permissible, advisable, and even essential to many job descriptions, especially those in the financial sector and those that work closely with children and the elderly. What Ban the Box does is delay the probing into criminal history until after the applicant has had a chance to demonstrate their individual merit.

In short, Ban the Box:

  • Is legislation designed to give individuals with criminal histories a fair shot at employment
  • Is increasing in adoption and prevalence across the nation
  • Is NOT the end of criminal background checks

VICTIG is eager to answer your questions on Ban the Box and any other background check issues the will arise. Contact us today!

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