Your Guide to Current "Ban the Box" Legislation

“Ban the box” legislation, named after employment application checkboxes, refers to a set of laws prohibiting employers from asking candidates about their criminal history. If you make hires in states with “ban the box” laws, in most cases, you must wait until the hiring process is well underway before you can ask candidates about their criminal history. In many states, you can only make inquiries after you have extended a conditional job offer.

“Ban the box” is intended to limit job discrimination on the basis of a candidate’s criminal history. State and local bans are founded upon U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on the use of arrest and conviction records in making employment decisions, Though having a criminal record is not on its own a protected class as defined by the EEOC, it can be considered in a claim of employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Therefore, employers must “ban the box” to comply with local laws and avoid claims of discrimination. 

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 3.07.51 PM

 

Download a PDF version of this guide by filling out this form, or keep scrolling to read.

Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 3.07.17 PM

Chapter 1

The Impact of “Ban the Box” Laws on Your Hiring Process

There are roughly the same number of people with criminal records as people with four-year college degrees, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Given the sheer number of your candidates who may have a criminal history, you want to know this information before you hire.

In fact, in certain regulated industries, such as financial services, healthcare, and transportation, you must know if something in a candidates’ background prohibits them from working in your industry. Before you check, you’ll have to make sure you follow applicable background screening and “ban the box” laws.

“Ban the box” laws dictate when you can begin a criminal records search during the hiring process. Not all state and local laws are the same, and they do not always apply to all employers. As a result, depending on where you hire, you may need to design your hiring policies and processes to take into account applicable laws across multiple locations. If you violate “ban the box” restrictions in just one location, your organization can be subject to costly lawsuits and fines.

The Importance of Staying Up-to-date with “Ban the Box” Laws


Since 1998, when Hawaii passed the first “ban the box” law, 35 states and dozens of localities have passed similar laws. All across the country, “ban the box” laws continue to expand. As recently as February 2020, Maryland became the most recent state to revise its “ban the box” law to include all employers with 15 or more employees. Previously, the law applied to public city and state employers only.

“Ban the box” laws are not consistent across locations. They can vary according to a range of criteria, including the following:

  • Which private and public employers the law covers
  • When employers are permitted to ask about criminal history
  • What steps employers must follow before considering adverse action based on criminal history results

Understanding and staying current with “ban the box” laws is essential for a well-run hiring process. As your trusted background screening provider, Corporate Screening can help you find an optimal balance between staying informed about the individuals you hire and avoiding the penalties of noncompliance. Follow our location-specific “ban the box” listing and map to understand the laws in your area.

Statewide and Local "Ban the Box" Laws

Click on your state to see "ban the box" laws

Alabama

No Statewide Ban

City—Birmingham 
Year Effective:
2016
Covered Employers: Public sector employers in the city.

Employers may not ask about criminal history on job applications.

Read the law

Back to map

Alaska

No Statewide Ban

Back to map

Arizona

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: All state agencies

Employers can ask about candidate criminal history after the candidate has submitted and had an initial interview. The employer may then make a hiring decision based on criminal history.

Read the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective: Coconino County (2017), Pima County (2013), Phoenix (2016), Tempe (2016), Tucson (2015)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

  • Employers in these locations may not ask about criminal history on job applications: Coconino County, Pima County
  • Employers in these locations may not ask candidates about criminal history until the finalist interview stage: Phoenix, Tempe
  • Employers in this location may not ask about criminal history until after making a conditional offer: Tucson

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Coconino County, Pima County, Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson

Back to map

Arkansas

No Statewide Ban

City and County 
Year Effective:
Pine Bluff (2019), Pulaski County (2016)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers 

Employers may not ask about a candidate’s criminal history on an initial employment application: Pine Bluff. Employers may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Pulaski County.

Read news, laws, and ordinances: Pine Bluff, Pulaski County

Back to map

California

Statewide

Year Effective: 2010, amended in 2013 and 2017

Covered Employers: All employers with 5 or more employees

Employers may not do the following: 

  • Ask candidates about conviction history on employment applications
  • Conduct a criminal background check until after making a job offer
  • Consider criminal records not resulting in a conviction
  • Deny a candidate a position solely because of conviction history 

Read the law


City and County 
Year Effective:
Berkeley (2008), Carson (2012), Compton (2011), Los Angeles (2016), Richmond (2013), San Francisco County (2018)

Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Public employers may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Berkeley, Carson, Compton, Los Angeles, Richmond, San Francisco County

Back to map

Colorado

Statewide

Year Effective: 2019 and 2021

Covered Employers: Employers with 11 or more employees; Beginning in September 2021: all employers.

Employers may not do the following:

  • State in an advertisement or on an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply for the position
  • Inquire into an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application 
  • Require the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application

Read the law


Type: County—Denver County
Year Effective:
2018
Covered Employers: Public sector employers in the county

Employers may not ask about criminal history until after making a conditional offer.

Read the law

Back to map

Connecticut

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: All employers in the state of Connecticut

Employers may not inquire about an applicant’s prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions on an initial employment application, unless the employer is required to do so by law, or the position requires a security, fidelity, or equivalent bond.

Read the law

City and County 
Year Effective:
Bridgeport (2009), Hartford (2009), New Haven (2009), Norwich (2008)
Covered Employers: 

  • Public sector employers: Bridgeport, Norwich
  • Contractors doing business with the city: Hartford, New Haven
Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Norwich. Employers may only inquire into criminal history after the candidate has applied and been made eligible to complete the Civil Service Exam: Bridgeport. Contractors may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Hartford, New Haven, Norwich

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Norwich

Back to map

Delaware

Statewide

Year Effective: 2014

Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers may not inquire into or consider the criminal record, criminal history, or credit score of an applicant for employment until after the initial interview. A public employer can disqualify an applicant based on criminal history where the disqualification is related to the position and consistent with business necessity.
 

Read the law

Back to map

Florida

No Statewide Ban

City and County (currently has no statewide law)
Year Effective:
Broward county (2016), Clearwater (2013), Daytona Beach (2015), Fort Myers (2015), Gainesville (2015), Jacksonville (2009), Miami-Dade County (2015), Orlando (2015), Pompano Beach (2014), Sarasota (2016), St. Petersburg (2014), Tampa (2013), Tallahassee (2015)

Covered Employers:
Public sector employers: Broward County, Clearwater, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami-Dade County, Orlando, Pompano Beach, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tallahassee

Public employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Fort Myers, St. Petersburg. Public employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Broward County, Clearwater, Pompano Beach. Public employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami-Dade County, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, Tallahassee.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Broward County, Clearwater, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami-Dade County, Orlando, Pompano Beach, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Tallahassee

Back to map

Georgia

Statewide

Year Effective: 2015

Covered Employers: Public employers acting under the executive branch in the state of Georgia

Employers may not ask candidates about criminal history on job applications. An employer may not use a prior criminal history as an automatic disqualifier for job applicants. 

Read the law


City and County 
Year Effective:
Albany (2015), Atlanta (2013), Augusta-Richmond County (2017), Cherokee County (2016), Columbus (2015), Fulton County (2014), Macon Bibb County (2015), South Fulton (2019)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Public employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Albany, Atlanta, Cherokee County, Fulton County, Macon Bibb County, South Fulton. Public employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after selecting a candidate as a finalist: Augusta-Richmond County. Public employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Columbus.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Albany, Atlanta, Augusta-Richmond County, Cherokee County, Columbus, Fulton County, Macon Bibb County, South Fulton

Back to map

Hawaii

Statewide

Year Effective: 1998

Covered Employers: All employers in the state of Hawaii

Employers are prohibited from refusing to hire a person based on his or her arrest or court record. Employers may ask about convictions, but only after making a conditional offer of employment.

Read the law

Back to map

Idaho

No Statewide Ban

Back to map

Illinois

Statewide

Year Effective: 2014

Covered Employers: All employers with 15 or more employees

Employers may only inquire about criminal history after the applicant has been selected for an interview or, if there is no interview, after a conditional offer.

Read the law

 

City and County—Chicago and Cook County
Year Effective:
2014
Covered Employers: All public and private employers with at least 15 employees

Employers may only inquire about criminal history after the applicant has been selected for an interview or, if there is no interview, after a conditional offer.

Read the law

Back to map

Indiana

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: Executive branch of the state of Indiana

Applications may not have questions regarding criminal history or convictions unless a particular crime precludes the candidate from employment in a position. Employers may conduct a background check at a “later point” in the hiring process.

Read the law

 

Type: City—Indianapolis
Year Effective:
2014
Covered Employers: Vendors and contractors doing business with the city

Vendors and contractors may not inquire into an applicant’s conviction history until after the first interview. If no interview is conducted, the employer is prohibited from making inquiries or gathering any information regarding the applicant’s criminal convictions.

Read the law

Back to map

Iowa

No Statewide Ban

City and County 
Year Effective:
Johnson County (2018), Linn County (2018), Waterloo (2020)
Covered Employers: 

  • Public sector employers: Johnson County, Linn County
  • All employers: Waterloo

Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Johnson County, Linn County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Waterloo.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Johnson County, Linn County, Waterloo

Back to map

Kansas

Statewide

Year Effective: 2018

Covered Employers: All public employers in the executive branch

During the initial stage of an application, executive branch departments may not ask applicants whether they have a criminal record, unless having a criminal history makes a candidate ineligible for a position.

Read the law


City and County
Year Effective:
Johnson County (2018), Kansas City and Wyandotte County (2014), Topeka (2015), Wichita (2015)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers in these locations may not inquire about candidate criminal history on the job application: Kansas City and Wyandotte County. Employers in these locations may not inquire about candidate criminal history until after making a conditional offer: Johnson County, Topeka, Wichita.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Johnson County, Kansas City and Wyandotte County, Topeka, Wichita

Back to map

Kentucky

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: Public sector and executive branch employers

Employers may only ask about criminal history after contacting the candidate and offering an interview.

Read the law

 

City—Louisville
Year Effective:
2014
Covered Employers: Public sector employers and vendors for the city of Louisville 

Employers may only inquire about candidate criminal history after the candidate has been deemed qualified for a position.

Read the city ordinance

Back to map

Louisiana

Statewide

Year Effective: 2016

Covered Employers: State employers

State employers may not inquire about a candidate’s criminal history until after the candidate has been given an opportunity to interview. If there is no interview, employers may ask about criminal history after making a conditional offer of employment.

Read the law


City 
Year Effective:
Baton Rouge (2016), New Orleans (2014)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers may not inquire about criminal history on the job application: Baton Rouge. Employers may not inquire about criminal history until after a candidate has been interviewed: New Orleans.

Read news, laws, and city ordinances: Baton Rouge, New Orleans

Back to map

Maine

Statewide

Year Effective: 2019

Covered Employers: State government employers

Employers may not include questions about candidate criminal history in applications for state government positions.

Read the law

Back to map

Maryland

Statewide

Year Effective: 2013

Covered Employers: All employers with 15 or more employees

Employers may not inquire about candidate criminal history until after conducting an interview. 

Read the law


City and County 
Year Effective:
Baltimore (2014), Montgomery County (2014), Prince George’s County (2015)
Covered Employers: All employers: Baltimore. All employers with 15 or more employees: Montgomery County, Prince George’s County.

Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Montgomery County, Prince George’s County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Baltimore.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Baltimore, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County

Back to map

Massachusetts

Statewide

Year Effective: 2010, amended 2018

Covered Employers: All employers in the state

Employers may not ask candidates about the following:

  • Criminal records that have been sealed or expunged
  • Arrests that did not result in conviction
  • First-time convictions for drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, or disturbing the peace, or misdemeanor convictions three years or more years old

Read the law

 

City 
Year Effective:
Boston (2004, amended 2006), Cambridge (2007), Worcester (2009)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers and vendors

Employers may not inquire about candidate criminal history unless required by law or for high-sensitivity positions. If a criminal history inquiry is necessary, employers must wait until a candidate is deemed qualified: Boston. Employers may not inquire about criminal history until after the applicant is found to be “otherwise qualified”: Cambridge. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Worcester.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Boston, Cambridge, Worcester

Back to map

Michigan

Statewide

Year Effective: 2018

Covered Employers: Public employers other than a law enforcement agency of the state

Applications for state public sector employment may not ask about past felony convictions. Public employers may not ask about candidate criminal history until after an initial interview or making a conditional job offer.

Read the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Ann Arbor (2014), Detroit (2010, amended 2012), East Lansing (2014), Genesee County (2014), Grand Rapids (2019), Kalamazoo (2010, amended 2016), Muskegon County (2012), Oakland County (2019)
Covered Employers: All employers: Grand Rapids. Public sector employers: Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing, Genesee County, Kalamazoo, Muskegon County, Oakland County. Any contractor doing business with the city, when the contract is $25,000 or more: Detroit, Kalamazoo.

Employers may not ask about criminal history on the job application: Kalamazoo, Muskegon County. Employers may not have an outright ban on prospective employees with a criminal history: Grand Rapids. Employers may not ask about criminal history until the first interview or the candidate is found to be otherwise qualified: Detroit, East Lansing. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Ann Arbor, Genesee County, Oakland County.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing, Genesee County, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon County, Oakland County

Back to map

Minnesota

Statewide

Year Effective: 2013

Covered Employers: All employers in the state

Employers may not ask about candidate criminal history until the candidate has been selected for an interview. If there is no interview, then employers must wait until making a conditional offer of employment.

Read the law

 

City—Minneapolis/Saint Paul
Year Effective:
2006
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers may only inquire into criminal history if the position is considered sensitive, and then, not until after a candidate is deemed otherwise qualified.

Read the law

Back to map

Mississippi

No Statewide Ban

Back to map

Missouri

Statewide

Year Effective: 2016

Covered Employers: Public employers in the state executive branch

State agencies may not ask questions related to a candidate’s criminal history during the initial application stage.

Read the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Columbia (2014), Jackson County (2016), Kansas City (2013public sector law; 2018private employer law), St. Louis (2014, amendment effective 2021), 
Covered Employers: All employers: Columbia. Public sector employers: Jackson County, Kansas City, St. Louis (effective 1/1/21, all employers with 10 or more employees). Private sector employers with at least six employees: Kansas City.

Employers may not ask about criminal history until the first interview: Jackson County, Kansas City, St. Louis. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Columbia.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Columbia, Jackson County, Kansas City (public and private sector laws), St. Louis

Back to map

Montana

No Statewide Ban

Back to map

Nebraska

Statewide

Year Effective: 2014

Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers may not ask about criminal history until after determining the candidate meets the minimum employment qualifications.

Read the law

Back to map

Nevada

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: Public employers of the state

Criminal history of an applicant can only be considered after: (1) the final interview is conducted in person; (2) the applicant has been offered a conditional offer of employment; or (3) the applicant has been certified by the administrator.

Read the law

 

City—North Las Vegas
Year Effective:
2016
Covered Employers: Public sector employers in the city

Employers may not ask about criminal history on job applications.

Read about the law

Back to map

New Hampshire

No Statewide Ban

Back to map

New Jersey

Statewide

Year Effective: 2014

Covered Employers: All employers with 15 or more employees

Employers may not ask about a candidate’s criminal record, including an expunged criminal record, during the initial employment application process.

Read the law

Back to map

New Mexico

Statewide

Year Effective: 2006 (public sector), 2019 (private sector)

Covered Employers: Public sector employers, and (from 2019) private sector employers

Public sector employers may not ask about criminal history until naming a candidate a finalist for a position. Private sector employers may not ask about criminal history until after an interview.

Read the public and private sector laws

Back to map

New York

Statewide

Year Effective: 2015

Covered Employers: Employers with 10 or more employees

Employers may not ask about criminal history related to sealed cases or proceedings in youthful offender or juvenile court. Public sector employers may not ask about criminal history until after the first interview.

Read about the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Albany County (2016), Buffalo (2013), Dutchess County (2016), Ithaca (2107), Kingston (2015), Newburgh (2015), New York City (2019), Rochester (2014), Suffolk County (2020), Syracuse (2014), Tompkins County (2017), Ulster County (2014), Westchester County (2018), Woodstock (2014), Yonkers (2014)
Covered Employers: All employers: Rochester. Public sector employers: Albany County, Dutchess County, Ithaca, Kingston, Newburgh, Syracuse (includes contractors), Tompkins County, Ulster County, Westchester County, Woodstock, Yonkers. Employers with 4 or more employees: New York City. Employers with more than 15 employees: Buffalo, Suffolk County.

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Dutchess County, Tompkins County, Westchester County, Woodstock, Yonkers. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Buffalo, Kingston, Newburgh, Rochester, Suffolk County, Ulster County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after a candidate is deemed a finalist: Ithaca. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Albany County, New York City, Syracuse.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Albany County, Buffalo, Dutchess County, Ithaca, Kingston, Newburgh, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, Syracuse, Tompkins County, Ulster County, Westchester County, Woodstock, Yonkers

Back to map

North Carolina

No Statewide Ban

City and County
Year Effective:
Asheville (2016), Buncombe County (2016), Carrboro (2012), Charlotte (2006), Cumberland County (2011), Durham County (2011), Forsyth County (2018), Mecklenburg County (2016), New Bern (2019), Spring Lake (2012), Wake County (2016)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Asheville, Buncombe County, Carrboro, Charlotte, Cumberland County, Forsyth County, Mecklenburg County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Spring Lake. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after a candidate is recommended for hire: Wake County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Durham County, New Bern.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Asheville, Buncombe County, Carrboro, Charlotte, Cumberland County, Durham County, Forsyth County, Mecklenburg County, New Bern, Spring Lake, Wake County

Back to map

North Dakota

Statewide

Year Effective: 2019

Covered Employers: Public employers

Employers may not inquire about criminal history until after a candidate has been selected for an interview.

Read the law

Back to map

Ohio

Statewide

Year Effective: 2015

Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers may not ask about criminal history until after making a conditional offer.

Read the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Akron (2013), Cincinnati (2010), Cleveland (2011), Cuyahoga County (2012), Dayton (not noted), Franklin County (2012), Hamilton County (2012), Lucas County (2013), Massillon (2014), Newark (2015), Warren (2015), Youngstown (2014)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Newark, Warren. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Akron, Dayton, Massillon. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after a candidate is selected as a finalist: Cleveland, Lucas County, Youngstown. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Cincinnati, Cuyahoga County, Franklin County, Hamilton County.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Dayton, Franklin County, Hamilton County, Lucas County, Massillon, Newark, Warren, Youngstown

Back to map

Oklahoma

Statewide

Year Effective: 2016

Covered Employers: State agency employers

Employers may not ask candidates questions about convictions and criminal history, unless a felony conviction would automatically render an applicant not qualified.

Read the law

Back to map

Oregon

Statewide

Year Effective: 2015

Covered Employers: All employers

Employers may not ask candidates about criminal history until after the initial interview. If no interview is conducted, then they may not inquire until after a conditional offer of employment.

Read the law

 

City—Portland
Year Effective:
2016
Covered Employers: All public sector employers, and private sector employers with at least 6 employees

Employers may not ask about criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment.

Read about the law

Back to map

Pennsylvania

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: All employers

Public sector employers may not ask about criminal history on job applications. All employers must determine whether convictions relate to the candidate’s suitability for employment.

Read the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Allegheny County (2014), Allentown (2015), Beaver County (2018), Bethlehem (2016), Lancaster (2014), Northampton County (2018), Philadelphia (2015), Pittsburgh (2012), Reading (2015), York City (2018)
Covered Employers: All public sector employers (except for Philadelphia: all employers)

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: York City, Northampton County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after an interview: Beaver County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after a candidate is selected as a finalist: Bethlehem, Lancaster. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Allegheny County, Allentown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Allegheny County, Allentown, Beaver County, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Northampton County, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, York City

Back to map

Rhode Island

Statewide

Year Effective: 2013

Covered Employers: All public sector employers, and private sector employers with at least four employees

Employers may not ask about criminal history until after conducting an interview.

Read the law

Back to map

South Carolina

No Statewide Ban

City and County 
Year Effective:
Aiken (2020), Columbia (2019), Richland County (2019), Spartanburg (2017), York County (2017)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Aiken, Richland County, Spartanburg. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Columbia, York County.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Aiken, Columbia, Richland County, Spartanburg, York County

Back to map

South Dakota

No Statewide Ban

Back to map

Tennessee

Statewide

Year Effective: 2016

Covered Employers: Public sector employees

Employers may not ask about criminal history on the job application.

Read the law


City and County 
Year Effective:
Chattanooga (2015), Memphis (2010), Nashville (2015), Shelby County (2020)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers 

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Chattanooga, Nashville. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after a candidate is deemed qualified: Memphis. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Shelby County.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville, Shelby County

Back to map

Texas

No Statewide Ban

City and County
Year Effective:
Austin (2016), Dallas County (2015), San Antonio (2016), Travis County (2018)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers (except Austin: all public sector employers, and private sector employers with at least 15 employees)

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Austin (public sector only), Dallas County, Travis County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Austin (private sector only), San Antonio.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Austin, Dallas County, San Antonio, Travis County

Back to map

Utah

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers may not ask about candidate criminal history until the initial interview or later. If no interview is conducted, employers must wait until making a conditional offer of employment.

Read the law

Back to map

Vermont

Statewide

Year Effective: 2017

Covered Employers: All employers

Employers may not ask about criminal record information on an initial application form. Employers must wait to ask about criminal history in an interview or once the candidate has been deemed otherwise qualified for the position.

Read the law

Back to map

Virginia

Statewide

Year Effective: 2015, revised 2020

Covered Employers: Public sector employers, private sector employers

2015—Public employers may not inquire into criminal history until after the applicant is deemed “otherwise eligible” and is being considered for a specific position. 2020 revision—All employers are prohibited from asking a candidate about, or require an applicant to disclose, information about any arrest, criminal charge or conviction for simple possession of marijuana.

Read the 2015 law and 2020 law.

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Alexandria (2014), Arlington County (2014), Blacksburg (2016), Charlottesville (2014), Danville (2014), Fairfax County (2014), Harrisonburg (2014), Henry County (2016), Montgomery County (2014), Newport News (2012), Norfolk (2013), Portsmouth (2013), Prince William County (2015), Richmond (2013), Roanoke (2014), Virginia Beach (2013)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on the job application: Charlottesville, Henry County, Montgomery County, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Richmond, Roanoke. Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history until conducting an interview: Arlington County, Prince William County. Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history until determining a candidate is the best for the position: Blacksburg. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Danville, Fairfax, Harrisonburg, Virginia Beach.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Alexandria, Arlington County, Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Danville, Fairfax County, Harrisonburg, Henry County, Montgomery County, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Prince William County, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach

Back to map

Washington

Statewide

Year Effective: 2018

Covered Employers: All employers

Employers may not ask about criminal history until a candidate is found to be “otherwise qualified” for a position.

Read the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Seattle (2013), Spokane (2017), Spokane County (2017), Tacoma (2015)
Covered Employers: All employers: Seattle, Spokane, Spokane County. Public sector employers: Tacoma.

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history until they have identified qualified applicants for a position: Seattle. Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history until conducting an interview: Spokane, Spokane County. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Tacoma.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Seattle, Spokane, Spokane County, Tacoma

Back to map

Washington, D.C.

Territory-wide

Year Effective: 2014

Covered Employers: All employers in the district with at least 10 employees

Employers may not ask about criminal history before making a conditional offer.

Read the law

Back to map

West Virginia

No Statewide Ban

Back to map

Wisconsin

Statewide

Year Effective: 2015

Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers may not inquire about a candidate’s criminal history until the candidate is “certified” for the position.

Read the law

 

City and County 
Year Effective:
Dane County (2014), Madison (2014), Milwaukee (2012), Milwaukee County (2011)
Covered Employers: Public sector employers

Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history on job applications: Dane County, Milwaukee County. Employers in the following locations may not inquire into criminal history until a candidates is placed on a “candidate eligibility list”: Milwaukee. Employers in the following locations may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer: Madison.

Read reports, laws, and local ordinances: Dane County, Madison, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County

Back to map

Wyoming

No Statewide Ban

Back to map
close chapters modal
Screen Shot 2020-09-29 at 3.07.17 PM

Download a PDF version of this guide by filling out this form

Simply fill out this form to receive a PDF version of our guide.