05/21/2020 You may have seen “Ban the Box” laws in the
news. Some states have passed ban the box laws restricting employers from
asking about criminal convictions.
Ban the box laws are important to everyone – including those with or without a criminal record.
Today, we’re explaining how ban the box laws work for criminal record checks.
Ban the box laws restrict employers from asking about a prospective employee’s criminal record.
Some employers require employees to check a box verifying they have a criminal record, for example. Under ban the box laws, this is not permitted, and employers cannot ask employees about their criminal history.
Ban the box laws are applied differently in different states. California’s ban the box law came into effect on January 1, 2018, for example. Under California’s ban the box law, it’s illegal for any private or public employer with five or more employees to ask about criminal history until the later stages of the application process.
Many states have similar ban the box laws.
To be clear, ban the box laws do not restrict employers from asking about criminal history entirely. However, they forbid employers from asking about criminal history during the initial stages of the application process.
In states without ban the box laws, employers will immediately eliminate any candidate who “checked the box” verifying their criminal record. That person may have been the best candidate for the job – but the criminal record prevented that person from getting past the first stage of the application process.
As of December 2019, thirteen states (and the District of Columbia) have passed ban the box laws, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Some states also have a “seven year rule” for criminal convictions. They allow employers to ask about criminal convictions, but employers cannot view someone’s criminal history beyond seven years.
Twelve states have passed seven year rule laws, including California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Washington.
In most states not listed here, employers can check criminal history dating back 5 to 10 years, and they can ask about criminal history during the first stages of the application process.
Check Criminal Record is a local company that provides an online service to help you uncover public records information about the people around you. The Dallas, Texas-based website serves customers across the state of Texas and all of America. Whether you’re investigating a colleague, a boss, or a…