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Portland, Ore.'s ban-the-box law, the Removing Barriers to Employment Ordinance, took effect on July 1, 2016. The ordinance prohibits most Portland employers from asking about an applicant's criminal history or conducting a background check on an applicant until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Late last month, the Portland City Attorney's Office published administrative rules and documents related to the ban-the-box ordinance. The newly released rules, which by their terms are to be "liberally construed," provide insight into how the city and the commissioner of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) will enforce this new law.
Clarifications Concerning the Ordinance's Prohibition on the Consideration of Criminal History
The administrative rules reiterate that employers are generally prohibited from excluding an applicant from consideration for employment on account of the individual's criminal history. However, the rules provide details related to this prohibition not found in the original ordinance.According to the rules, employers are prohibited from gathering, obtaining, or using an applicant's criminal history information before the employer extends a conditional offer of employment. This prohibition includes any direct or indirect conduct that is likely to result in the gathering or disclosure of an applicant's criminal history, such as:
Clarifications Concerning the Permissible Consideration of Criminal History
Portland's Unique Adverse Action Process
City-Created Criminal History Matrix for Specific Positions
Enforcement & Damages
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