Ban the Box Toolkit from NELP Helps Advocates Start a Fair Chance Campaign


Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) – a national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage workers – is offering a Ban the Box Toolkit to provide advocates with a step-by-step guide on how to launch a Fair Chance campaign in their city or state to ban the box that job applicants are asked to check on employment applications to indicate that they have a past criminal record.

As NELP explains: Nationwide, over 100 cities and counties have adopted what is widely known as “ban the box” so that employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a conviction record. These initiatives provide applicants a fair chance by removing the conviction history question on the job application and delaying the background check inquiry until later in the hiring.

According to NELP, more than 100 million Americans – roughly one-third of the U.S. population – live in a jurisdiction with a Ban the Box or Fair Chance hiring policy. For those Ban the Box advocates who do not live in such a jurisdiction, the toolkit from NELP provides a range of resources to help draft a law, build a network, support outreach, and even develop a media outreach, including:

  • A ‘One-Page Factsheet’ that explains the basics of the Ban the Box policy.
  • A ‘Voices in Support Factsheet’ that highlights voices around the nation in support.
  • A ‘Best Practices and Model Policies Guide’ that provides model laws.
  • A ‘Research Summary’ that is a compilation of supportive research.
  • A ‘Compilation of Media’ that provides links to notable articles, examples of op-eds, and e-campaign materials.

NELP reports that both the Obama Administration and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have endorsed Ban the Box hiring policies which benefit everyone because they are good for families and the local community. The Ban the Box toolkit from NELP is available at

The number of jurisdictions that have adopted Ban the Box policies is constantly increasing. For the latest number and links to the laws and policies, visit the Ban the Box Fair Chance Hiring State and Local Guide on the NELP website. The guide is regularly updated with the latest Ban the Box news and is available at

More Ban the Box Information from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – “The Background Check Authority®” – is a nationwide background check firm accredited by the National Association of Professional background Screeners (NABS). ESR offers employers a complimentary Ban the Box Information Page with links to news, resources, and legislation about Ban the Box available at

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