Waterloo First City in State of Iowa to Join Ban the Box Movement

Ban the Box

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On October 7, 2019, Waterloo, Iowa, became the first city in the state to join the “Ban the Box” movement by passing an ordinance that makes asking job applicants about criminal records early in the hiring process an “unlawful discriminatory practice” for employers, according to a report from CBS2/FOX 28 News.

CBS2/FOX 28 News reported that under the Ban the Box proposal – which was passed by the Waterloo City Council – public and private employers in the city “would not be allowed to discuss any convictions, arrests, or criminal charges before or during the application process for a prospective employee.”

The ordinance allows employers to extend a conditional job offer once the hiring process is complete where applicants must meet certain conditions to be hired, CBS2/FOX 28 News reported, adding that Waterloo city leaders “say there will be work sessions to discuss possible amendments.”

Iowa does not have a Ban the Box law at the state level. In 2018, Linn County in Iowa passed a resolution for inclusive hiring practices for county jobs – the first of its kind in the state – to demonstrate a “commitment to equal employment opportunity for otherwise qualified individuals with a prior criminal conviction.”

Ban the Box is a growing nationwide movement that seeks to advance job opportunities for applicants with criminal records by eliminating any inquiry into the criminal history on initial job applications. As of October 2019, more than 150 cities and counties, as well as 35 states, have passed Ban the Box laws.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm – offers a Ban the Box Resource Page the contains complimentary white papers, infographics, and an interactive map updated with the latest laws 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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