St. Louis County Adopts Ban the Box Order to Remove Criminal History Question on Job Applications

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On June 11, 2018, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger announced an executive order to “Ban the Box” that – effective immediately – ensures “St. Louis County will no longer ask job applicants for criminal histories in their initial employment applications,” according to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Post-Dispatch reports that the Ban the Box order “asks the county director of administration and director of personnel to remove criminal history questions from employment applications” but “does not prevent a criminal background check as a condition of employment in St. Louis County government.”

“A parolee’s failure to find full-time employment becomes, quite frankly, a serious public safety issue for every county resident,” Stenger told the Post-Dispatch. “Without a decent job, ex-prisoners are far more likely to struggle with substance abuse. And they are far more likely to engage in criminal activity.”

The Ban the Box order states that “employment decisions will not be based on the criminal history of a job applicant unless demonstrably job-related and consistent with business necessity, or unless state or federal law prohibits hiring an applicant with certain convictions for a particular position.”

In October 2014, ESR News reported the City of St. Louis, Missouri joined the Ban the Box movement and would no longer require job applicants to check a box on job applications if they have a felony conviction. Other cities and counties in Missouri with Ban the Box laws include Columbia, Jackson County, and Kansas City.

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

“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 June 2018, more than 150 cities and counties as well as 32 states have passed Ban the Box legislation 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 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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