Ban the Box Movement Limiting Criminal History Questions on Job Applications Spreads Across US

More cities and states are joining the “Ban the Box” movement limiting questions employers may ask about criminal records on job applications. In June 2013, Rhode Island become the latest state to enact a “Ban the Box” law when it passed Senate Bill 357 (SB 357) to limit inquiries on employment applications regarding past criminal convictions except when federal or state law specifically disqualifies a person from employment due to a prior conviction or authorizes such inquiries. The full text of SB 357 – which will take effect on January 1, 2014 – is available at http://openstates.org/ri/bills/2013/SB357/.

Rhode Island becomes the tenth state – along with California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Mexico – to join the growing “Ban the Box” movement spreading across the United States. According to a Resource Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), more than 50 cities and counties in the U.S. have already adopted “Ban the Box” reforms. The Resource Guide from NELP, a non-profit organization that focuses on issues affecting low-wage and unemployed workers, is available at http://nelp.3cdn.net/495bf1d813cadb030d_qxm6b9zbt.pdf.

A March 2011 study from NELP found that more than one in four adults in the United States had criminal records. The study estimated that 64.6 million people – representing 27.8 percent of the U.S. adult population – had a criminal record for either an arrest or a conviction on file with states. Since employers use criminal background checks for screening, criminal records may cause applicants to be denied jobs even for arrests or minor convictions that occurred in the distant past. The study from NELP is available at http://nelp.3cdn.net/e9231d3aee1d058c9e_55im6wopc.pdf.

The “Ban the Box” movement is one of the ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ selected by Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). The complete list of trends is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends-for-2013.php. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

Sources:

http://openstates.org/ri/bills/2013/SB357/

http://nelp.3cdn.net/495bf1d813cadb030d_qxm6b9zbt.pdf

http://nelp.3cdn.net/e9231d3aee1d058c9e_55im6wopc.pdf

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call toll free 888.999.4474.

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