Sarasota FL Adopts Ban the Box Policy for City Hiring

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The City of Sarasota, Florida has joined the fast growing “Ban the Box” movement and adopted a policy that voluntarily removes the box on city employment applications that job applicants are asked to check if they have any past criminal convictions, according to a press release on city’s website.

“Too many qualified individuals have been eliminated from the City’s hiring process because they had to check that box,” Sarasota,” Mayor Willie Shaw stated in the press release about the Ban the Box policy. “This is the right thing to do and I’m proud we as a city have stepped up and changed our policy.”

Under the new Ban the Box policy, the City of Sarasota will no longer will inquire about criminal history during the initial application process for city workers. The criminal history of applicants will only be considered at the end of the hiring process instead of being known at the very beginning.

The City of Sarasota will continue to conduct position related criminal background checks, driving record checks, and occasional credit report checks, but that information will be considered only toward the final phase of the selection process after the candidates and their skills become known.

The City of Sarasota will follow U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) guidance when hiring and identify three factors to determine if a criminal record is related to the position applied for: 1) nature and gravity of offense or conduct, 2) time passed since the offense, and 3) nature of the job sought.

While the Ban the Box initiative took effect on May 1, 2016, some positions that are still open for applications prior to this date will continue under the previous process, according to the press release. For information about the Ban the Box policy in the City of Sarasota, call 941-365-2200 ext. 3744.

Other Florida cities that adopted Ban the Box policies include: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Clearwater. The press release is available at http://sarasotagov.com/NewsReleases/2016/05/13/ban-the-box-adopted-for-city-hiring-criminal-history-considered-at-end-of-process/.

As reported earlier on the ESR New Blog, the Ban the Box movement is spreading rapidly across America and fast becoming a national standard. More than 100 cities and counties as well as 19 states have Ban the Box laws. The White House has also proposed new Ban the Box regulations for Federal government jobs.

ESR Supports Ban the Box

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) supports fair and informed Ban the Box legislation and offers employers a Ban the Box Information Page with links to news and resources about the Ban the Box movement. For more Ban the Box information, please visit www.esrcheck.com/Ban-the-Box/.

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