The Common Council in Buffalo, New York has voted to “Ban the Box” and make it illegal for employers in the city to ask job seekers if they have been convicted of crimes on applications, according to a story on The Buffalo News website. The Ban the Box measure now heads to Mayor Byron W. Brown for his signature to become law.

The Buffalo News reports that the Ban the Box measure “recognizes that stopping employers from asking job applicants to check a box on job applications if they have a criminal record allows those who have served time or been convicted of minor offenses to at least get an interview” to state their case.

While applicants are allowed to state their case, the Council president stressed employers “can ask any question about criminal records during an interview” and the new measure includes exemptions “such as for those applying to be police officers, teachers, or child care workers,” the Buffalo News reports.

According to a Resource Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), no less than 50 cities and counties in the United States have already adopted “Ban the Box” reforms. In addition, nine states have joined the movement to remove the criminal conviction question from job applications.

A March 2011 study from NELP found that more than one in four adults in the United States had criminal records. The study estimated that 64.6 million people in the United States – representing 27.8 percent of the U.S. adult population – had a criminal record for either an arrest or a conviction on file.

This growing trend of cities and states adopting Ban the Box policies removing the criminal history question from job applications is one of the ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ chosen each year by Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). To learn more, visit or call toll free 888.999.4474.


About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit or call toll free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:

The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected]. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit