San Francisco May Soon Ban the Box for Criminal Records on Private Employer Job Applications

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will soon consider a “Ban the Box” measure – Ordinance 131192 – that would prevent private sector employers in the city with more than 20 employees from asking about past criminal records of job seekers during the initial job application process, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report available online at http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Ban-the-Box-gives-ex-offenders-chance-to-work-5187128.php. (UPDATE: ‘San Francisco supervisors pass ‘ban the box’ law’ http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-supervisors-pass-ban-the-box-law-5204942.php.)

Introduced by Supervisors Jane Kim (District 6) and Malia Cohen (District 10), the proposal expands on the current screening process for City of San Francisco job applicants that saves questions about criminal records until later in job interviews, the Chronicle reports. However, employers may ask about criminal records later in the hiring process and jobs “such as security work or law enforcement would likely be off limits for an applicant with a serious record.”

“Ban the Box” – a reference to the check box asking about criminal records on applications – has spread to more than 50 U.S. cities and ten states, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). In October 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) to “Ban the Box” for state government jobs. A copy of Ordinance 131192 is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/file/San-Francisco-Board-of-Supervisors_Ordinance-131192.pdf.

“Ban the Box” was chosen as the number one trend for 2014 by Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen for the 7th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends’ since the movement is gaining momentum and “quickly heading towards becoming a national standard and will be a hot issue for employers in 2014.” A complete list of all top ten background check trends is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends.

Related Blog: San Francisco Proposes Ordinance to Ban Most Private Employers from Asking about Criminal Records on Job Applications

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in the San Francisco, CA-area 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, call toll free 888.999.4474, or email sales@esrcheck.com.