In Focus: More 'Ban the Box' Laws and Rules

Los Angeles City Council, federal Office of Personnel Management announce new measures

By Roy Maurer Dec 6, 2016

​The Los Angeles City Council approved a law Nov. 30 that prohibits most employers from asking about a job applicant's criminal history until a conditional job offer has been made.

The measure was approved on a 12-1 vote and will apply to all city contractors and private employers with 10 or more employees. Exemptions will apply for certain occupations such as law enforcement and child care. The ordinance is expected to go into effect on Jan. 1.



Also on Nov. 30, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced its final rule banning hiring managers at federal agencies from asking about criminal history would go into effect by Jan. 1.

 (The Washington Times)


Movement Continues to Grow

Los Angeles is the latest city to join a nationwide movement to help job applicants with criminal records find employment. Dozens of cities and states have enacted "ban-the-box" laws, a reference to the check box on employment applications asking whether the candidate has ever been convicted of a crime. Ban-the-box laws typically require hiring managers to put off asking about a candidate's criminal history until after an interview has been conducted or a provisional job offer has been extended.

(SHRM Online)


Fair-Chance Hiring

More than 185 million people in the U.S. live in either a ban-the-box or "fair chance" jurisdiction, according to the National Employment Law Project. Fair chance legislation requires employers to consider factors such as the job-relatedness of a conviction, how much time has passed since the conviction, mitigating circumstances and evidence of rehabilitation when making hiring decisions.

(HR Magazine)  


Ex-Offenders Can Be Untapped Talent Pool

Advocates of fair-chance hiring say that HR should weigh the risks and rewards of employing ex-offenders. They argue that hiring ex-offenders is not only an important cause but also taps into available talent for your organization.

(SHRM Online)


Federal Ban-the-Box Law Stalled

Momentum built throughout 2015 in Congress for similar legislation at the federal level. Bipartisan legislation banning federal agencies and federal contractors from asking job applicants to disclose criminal histories before making conditional job offers was passed in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in October 2015.

The bill was reported to the full Senate in January 2016, but hasn't moved since.

(SHRM Online


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