Baltimore Mayor Signs Ban the Box Bill

Written By Thomas Ahearn

Ban the BoxBaltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has a signed a Ban the Box bill to make private employers in the city remove a box from job applications that asks if applicants have a criminal record, according to a report from WJZ-TV CBS 13 on CBSBaltimore.com. The full story about the signing of the bill, which takes effect 90 days after adoption, is available at http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/05/29/rawlings-blake-signs-ban-the-box-bill/.

As previously reported on the ESR News blog, the Baltimore City Council passed Ban the Box legislation by a vote of 10 to 4 to bar employers in the city with ten or more workers from asking job seekers about their criminal record history on job applications and make them wait until a conditional job offer has been extended. The blog is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2014/05/05/baltimore-city-council-passes-ban-the-box-bill/.

The Ban the Box legislation – Council Bill 13-0301, “Ban the Box” – Fair Criminal-Record Screening Practices – is intended to help ex-offenders have a fair opportunity to find work by giving them a better shot at getting their foot in the door. However, certain positions where a criminal history would bar candidates are exempt. The full text of the Ban the Box bill is available at http://legistar.baltimorecitycouncil.com/attachments/11035.pdf.

The Ban the Box movement is spreading in the United States. A Ban the Box Resource Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) shows U.S. cities besides Baltimore that have adopted similar policies include: Boston, MA; Kansas City, MO; New Orleans, New York, NY; CA; Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, DC. The NELP guide is available at http://www.nelp.org/page/-/SCLP/CityandCountyHiringInitiatives.pdf?nocdn=1.

A 2011 NELP report titled ‘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 number one trend for the ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2014. A full list of the top ten trends is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends.

Keep Up To Date on Ban the Box Legislation with ESR News

For the latest information about Ban the Box legislation, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/ban-the-box/. For more information about background checks, please visit Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) at http://www.esrcheck.com/, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email sales@esrcheck.com.