Add Kansas City, MO to the growing number of jurisdictions choosing to “ban the box.” On February 1, 2018, city council passed legislation that restricts employers from asking about and using criminal history to help make hiring decisions.
View the complete ordinance here.
This ordinance, which applies to private employers with six or more employees, becomes effective June 9, 2018. Kansas City government adopted policy for most city employees in 2014 while the state of Missouri established a similar ban for hiring state employees in 2016.
Employers are prohibited from inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history until it has been determined the candidate is within the “final selection pool of candidates,” and only after they’ve conducted an interview with the candidate. The ordinance does not apply to positions where employers are required to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions due to federal, state, local law or regulations.
In addition, the ordinance deems it unlawful for an employer to base a hiring decision (or decision to promote) solely on a candidate’s criminal history. Like other ‘ban the box’ legislation, it is incumbent upon the employer to show the hiring decision was based on “all available information.” Employers must consider age, frequency and severity of the criminal record and may only take adverse action if the offenses are “reasonably related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.”
Employers with candidates who live or work in Kansas City should assess whether the new ordinance impacts them. Employers affected by the ordinance should review and revise policies and procedures accordingly.
As your trusted partner, our team is available to assist with any questions or concerns about compliance. Please contact Customer Support at 800-229-8606 option 4.