Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On March 26, 2019, the City of New Bern, North Carolina officially enacted a resolution to “Ban the Box” and remove the checkbox on city job applications that applicants are asked to check if they have a criminal record in order to support fair hiring practices that will take effect on April 1, 2019, according to a report from WNCT.
New Bern NC Ban the Box Resolution
WNCT reports that removing the checkbox on job applications – which affects employment, housing, and bank loan opportunities for ex-offenders looking to reenter the workforce – allows applicants with criminal records to be interviewed and employers to conduct criminal background checks if necessary.
At a meeting in February of 2019, the New Bern Board of Aldermen was urged to adopt Ban the Box, which helps employers “identify potential hires with the best skills and experience and delay asking applicants about their criminal records until after a conditional offer is made,” the New Bern Post reported.
Other cities and counties in North Carolina besides New Bern that have passed Ban the Box laws include Asheville, Buncombe County, Carrboro, Charlotte, Cumberland County, Durham City, Durham County, Forsyth County, Mecklenburg County, Spring Lake, Wake County, and Winston-Salem.
Nationwide, more than 150 cities and counties as well as 33 states have passed Ban the Box laws as of March 2019. The movement seeks to advance job opportunities for ex-offenders by delaying the criminal history question until later in the hiring process to first establish their knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Ban the Box laws that help ex-offenders find work are pervasive enough for studies to show whether fair chance rules are effective and this trend was chosen by global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) as one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2019.
A 2019 study of “Ban the Box” laws found removing the criminal history question from job applications helped to increase the hiring of ex-offenders with conviction records and ease their re-entry into the workforce after being released from prison, according to research from Case Western Reserve University.
A 2011 study released by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimated that nearly 65 million people in America – more than one in four adults – have some kind of a criminal record. NELP has since revised the number of adults with criminal records up to 70 million people– nearly one in three adults.
ESR Ban the Box Resource Page
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers employers a Ban the Box Resource Page the contains complimentary whitepapers, infographics, and an interactive map updated with the latest Ban the Box laws. The ESR Ban the Box Resource Page is 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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