Ban The Box – A Nation-Sweeping Movement


In 1998, the state of Hawaii became the first state to enact legislation aimed at providing individuals with criminal records a fair chance at securing employment. Born out of the work of grassroots civil/human rights organization, All of Us or None, this enactment increased momentum for a growing national movement that continues to impact background screening and hiring processes today.

This movement, commonly-referred to as Ban the Box, promotes a nationwide effort to remove and/or postpone self-disclosure requirements from employer hiring processes. Through this removal, Ban the Box ordinances operate with the objective to level the playing field for ex-offenders by affording them opportunities to display qualifications and make positive impressions during the hiring process, without being arbitrarily eliminated due to criminal history.

Although Ban the Box first surfaced nearly 20 years ago, it continues to impact the manner in which employers throughout the country screen applicants today. In 2016 alone, several major jurisdictions including Los Angeles, Milwaukee and the state of Connecticut – to name a few – voted to enact Ban the Box legislation. These jurisdictions join the growing list of counties, cities and districts in more than 18 states that now prohibit employers within various sectors, from including self-disclosures in the hiring process.

However, prohibiting and/or addressing the timing and nature of self-disclosure is not the only mandate that Ban the Box laws have inspired.

In numerous jurisdictions, including but not limited to New York City, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Ban the Box-inspired ordinances require the utilization of adverse action notifications in the hiring process. These notifications, which range from providing applicants with a notice of their right to appeal, to disclosing a specific policy that caused employment denial, require strict compliance and have the potential to pose litigation risks to employers now and in the future.

To mitigate risks, it is imperative that employers work with consumer reporting agencies, as well as legal counsel, to create a compliant applicant hiring/screening process that will leave little room for error.

For more information on compliance and developing a Ban the Box-compliant screening process, watch A-Check Global’s Compliance 101 Part 1 video located in our Resource Library under Informational Videos, or contact A-Check Global at 877-345-2021 today.

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