“Ban the Box” News and Updates
As 2015 ended and a new year began, there’s been more “ban the box” activity. The term refers to the box on a job application form that asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” In December 2015, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) reported that over 100 cities and counties, as well as 19 states have adopted these policies “so that employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a conviction record.”
Here’s a quick round-up of legislation:
WOIO News reported that in December, Ohio governor John Kasich signed a law that would prohibit public employers from including questions about criminal background on employment applications.
Also in December, WBNG News reported that the city of Ithaca, New York will no longer ask applicants if they have been convicted of a crime, unless they are applying for a position that restricts applicants from being hired if they have certain prior convictions.
And as a reminder to employers, Corporate Screening put out a client alert in December about Oregon’s “ban the box” law, which became effective on January 1, 2016.
In 2016 news, the city of Asheville, North Carolina, is considering removing the criminal history question from its job applications. In early January, local ABC affiliate, WLOS, reported that the City Council’s governance committee will begin discussions on the subject next week.
Also in early January, Florida state Rep. Randolph Bracey told WFTV News that he expected “ban the box” legislation to be taken up by committee the following week. Bracey is a co-sponsor of the bill to remove the question from state applications.