Louisiana Passes Ban the Box Legislation for State Employees

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Louisiana State Legislature has passed “Ban the Box” legislation – House Bill No. 266 (HB 266) – that will prohibit state employers from inquiring about the criminal history of a prospective employee on an initial application form until after the prospective employee is given an opportunity to interview for the position or until after the prospective employee is given a conditional offer of employment.

HB 266 will now be sent to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards for executive approval. Introduced by Representative Denise Marcelle (D – District 61), the Ban the Box legislation will enact Chapter 29 of Title 42 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to be comprised of R.S. 42:1701, to read as follows:

  • No state employer, when filling a position, may inquire, including without limitation on an initial application form, about a prospective employee’s criminal history until after the prospective employee has been given an opportunity to interview for the position or, if no such interview is to be conducted, until after the prospective employee has been given a conditional offer of employment.
  • Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prohibit a state employer from considering the criminal history of a prospective employee in making the final determination of whether to employ the person. In considering the criminal history of the prospective employee, the state employer may consider the following: (1) The nature and gravity of the criminal conduct. (2) The time that has passed since the occurrence of the criminal conduct. (3) The specific duties and essential functions of the position and the bearing, if any, that the criminal conduct will have on the ability of the prospective employee to perform one or more of those duties or functions.
  • For purposes of this Section, “state employer” means any department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of the state.
  • This Section applies to each position in the state unclassified service, except a position in law enforcement or corrections or a position for which a criminal background check is required by law.

Louisiana joins several other states with some form of Ban the Box laws that include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island,  Vermont, and Virginia. In addition, more than 100 cities and counties have passed some type of Ban the Box legislation.

As reported earlier on the ESR New Blog, the Ban the Box movement is spreading rapidly across America and fast becoming a national standard. Wikipedia.org defines Ban the Box as “an international campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders, aimed at persuading employers to remove from their hiring applications the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record.”

ESR Supports Ban the Box

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a global provider of fast, accurate, affordable, and compliant background checks – supports fair and informed Ban the Box legislation. ESR offers employers a Ban the Box Information Page with news and resources about the Ban the Box movement. For information about Ban the Box, visit www.esrcheck.com/Ban-the-Box/. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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