Written By Thomas Ahearn
The City Council of Rochester, New York has unanimously voted to “Ban the Box” and prohibit public and private employers in the city with four or more employees from asking about the criminal history of job seekers on applications. A report in the Rochester Democrat Chronicle about the Ban the Box law, which takes effect in 180 days, is available at http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/05/20/city-council-votes-ban-box/9356071/.
The Rochester Democrat Chronicle reports that the 9-0 City Council vote means the legislation cannot be vetoed and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is expected to sign the bill into law. A copy of the Ban the Box law, which contains exceptions for police, firefighters, and professions where felony convictions specifically bar a person from employment, is available on the Rochester Democrat Chronicle website at http://roc.democratandchronicle.com/assets/pdf/A2221474520.PDF.
The Ban the Box movement – named for the box job applicants must check on applications if they have criminal convictions – is spreading in the United States. A Ban the Box Resource Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) shows more than 60 cities have adopted policies to give ex-offenders a fair chance to find a job. The NELP resource guide is available at http://www.nelp.org/page/-/SCLP/CityandCountyHiringInitiatives.pdf?nocdn=1.
The 2011 NELP report ‘65 Million Need Not Apply: The Case for Reforming Criminal Background Checks for Employment’ estimated that 65 million Americans – or one in four U.S. adults – have a criminal record that may show up on a routine background check report. Using updated information, NELP now estimates that 70 million Americans have a criminal record. The report from NELP is available at http://nelp.3cdn.net/e9231d3aee1d058c9e_55im6wopc.pdf.
“The Ban the Box movement is quickly heading towards becoming a national standard and is a hot issue for employers in 2014,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR). Rosen selected Ban the Box as the most influential trend for the ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2014. For a full list of all of the top trends, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends.
Visit ESR News for Ban the Box Updates
For information about Ban the Box legislation, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/ban-the-box/. For information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com/, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.