Westchester County Joins Ban the Box Movement with Fair Chance to Work Executive Order

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On April 9, 2018, Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed the “Fair Chance to Work” Executive Order which – effective immediately – will “Ban the Box” and prohibit the County from inquiring about past convictions during the initial application process, according to a press release on Westchestergov.com.

“Eliminating Westchester residents from job consideration who have made past mistakes from the opportunities to better their future before they even have a chance to right their wrongs hurts our County as a whole,” County Executive Latimer stated in the press release.

The Ban the Box policy does not prohibit background checks or fingerprinting – especially for jobs with children, seniors, and other vulnerable populations – but simply moves the criminal history question from the beginning of the application process to after an applicant is able to present their qualifications.

Employment is the single most important influence on decreasing recidivism. Two years after release, nearly twice as many employed people with records had avoided another encounter with law enforcement than their unemployed counterparts, according to the press release.

“Ban the Box” is a movement seeking to advance job opportunities for people with prior criminal convictions by eliminating any inquiry into the criminal history of candidates on job applications, specifically the check box that requires candidates to disclose their criminal history.

As of April 2018, more than 150 cities and counties have Ban the Box laws. Other cities and counties in New York with Ban the Box laws include Albany County, Buffalo, Dutchess County, Ithaca, Kingston, Newburgh, New York, Rochester, Syracuse, Tompkins County, Ulster County, Woodstock, and Yonkers.

In addition, 31 states have Ban the Box laws. In September 2015, New York Governor Cuomo announced an Executive Action to reduce barriers for New Yorkers with criminal records so applicants for jobs with New York State agencies would not be required to disclose prior convictions until after an interview.

ESR Ban the Box Resource Page

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers employers and HR professionals a Ban the Box Resource Page with complimentary whitepapers, infographics, and an interactive map updated with the latest Ban the Box laws for states, counties, and cities in America.

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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