Linn County in Iowa Adopts Ban the Box Resolution for Inclusive Hiring Practices for Ex-Offenders

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On May 16, 2018, the Linn County Board of Supervisors adopted a “Ban the Box” resolution for inclusive hiring practices for County positions to demonstrate a “commitment to equal employment opportunity for otherwise qualified individuals with a prior criminal conviction,” according to a Civic Alert on County’s website.

The Ban the Box resolution eliminates the requirement to disclose past criminal history on the County’s initial employment application, except for positions that require a background check such as working with vulnerable populations, safety-sensitive duties, and jobs in secured facilities or law enforcement.

The Ban the Box resolution also requires that a job applicant be selected for an interview before being asked about a criminal record, or before performing a background check on that applicant, except for positions that require a full background check due to the nature of the work.

The Ban the Box resolution – the first of its kind in the state of Iowa – also provides for individual consideration of criminal history circumstances where applicable and encourages the selection of applicants based on job skills and qualifications without consideration of past convictions, if possible.

The Linn County Board of Supervisors is committed to both public safety and economic opportunity and hopes by removing these barriers that all qualified individuals have an opportunity to compete equally for Linn County employment. A video of the discussion from the Board’s meeting is available here.

“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.

The Ban the Box movement is growing. As of May 2018, more than 150 cities and counties as well as 32 states have passed Ban the Box laws that delays questions about criminal records of job applicants until later in the hiring process to give ex-offenders a chance to demonstrate their skills for the position.

ESR Ban the Box Resource Page

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers employers 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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