Kansas City MO Adopts Ban the Box Ordinance to Give Ex-Offenders a Fair Chance at Employment

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On February 1, 2018, Kansas City, Missouri adopted a “Ban The Box” ordinance to bar private and public employers from asking applicants about criminal records and delay such inquiries until later in the hiring process to give ex-offenders a fair chance at employment. The ordinance takes effect on June 9, 2018.

The “Ban the Box” movement seeks to remove the box on job applications that applicants are asked to check if they have a criminal record and delays that question until later in the hiring process after qualified applicants have the opportunity to show their knowledge, skills, and abilities to do a job.

In April of 2016, ESR News reported that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed Ban the Box legislation – Executive Order 16-04 – to direct state agencies to lessen unnecessary barriers to jobs for ex-offenders by removing questions relating to criminal history from initial state employment applications.

In April of 2013, ESR News reported that the Kansas City Council passed Ordinance 130230 – known as the “Ban the Box” ordinance – that required the City Manager to remove questions regarding disclosure of past criminal records from job applications for employment with the city.

The “Ban the Box” movement is spreading rapidly in the United States. As of February of 2018, more than 150 cities and counties as well as 30 states have passed Ban the Box legislation. Some of the cities, counties, and states also extend their Ban the Box hiring policies to private employers as well.

A study released by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) in 2011 estimated that approximately 64.6 million ex-offenders in the United States – more than one in four American adults – have a criminal record. NELP has since revised the number of potential ex-offenders up to 70 million people.

The fact that employers will have to deal with a myriad of overlapping local and statewide Ban the Box laws is one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2018 selected by global background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a background check firm located in California.

“ESR is a long time supporter of the Ban the Box approach that gives ex-offenders a second chance since a past criminal record should not serve as an early knock-out punch before they have the opportunity to compete fairly based on their qualifications and ability to perform the job,” says ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen.

ESR has released a complimentary whitepaper enttitled “Ten Critical Steps for Ex-Offenders to Get Back into the Workforce” to help job applicants with criminal records avoid the frustrating “Catch 22” situation where they risk not finding employment whether they lie or tell the truth about their pasts.

More Ban the Box Information from ESR

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a leading global background check firm that supports sensible Ban the Box legislation. ESR offers employers information, resources, and updates about Ban the Box on the ESR website at www.esrcheck.com/Legislative-Compliance/Ban-the-Box/.

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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