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Written By Thomas Ahearn

Ban the BoxBaltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has a signed a Ban the Box bill to make private employers in the city remove a box from job applications that asks if applicants have a criminal record, according to a report from WJZ-TV CBS 13 on The full story about the signing of the bill, which takes effect 90 days after adoption, is available at

As previously reported on the ESR News blog, the Baltimore City Council passed Ban the Box legislation by a vote of 10 to 4 to bar employers in the city with ten or more workers from asking job seekers about their criminal record history on job applications and make them wait until a conditional job offer has been extended. The blog is available at

The Ban the Box legislation – Council Bill 13-0301, “Ban the Box” – Fair Criminal-Record Screening Practices – is intended to help ex-offenders have a fair opportunity to find work by giving them a better shot at getting their foot in the door. However, certain positions where a criminal history would bar candidates are exempt. The full text of the Ban the Box bill is available at

The Ban the Box movement is spreading in the United States. A Ban the Box Resource Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) shows U.S. cities besides Baltimore that have adopted similar policies include: Boston, MA; Kansas City, MO; New Orleans, New York, NY; CA; Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Washington, DC. The NELP guide is available at

A 2011 NELP report titled ‘65 Million Need Not Apply: The Case for Reforming Criminal Background Checks for Employment’ estimated that 65 million Americans – or one in four U.S. adults – have a criminal record that may show up on a routine background check report. Using updated information, NELP now estimates that 70 million Americans have a criminal record. The report from NELP is available at

“The Ban the Box movement is quickly heading towards becoming a national standard and is a hot issue for employers in 2014,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR). Rosen selected Ban the Box as the number one trend for the ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2014. A full list of the top ten trends is available at

Keep Up To Date on Ban the Box Legislation with ESR News

For the latest information about Ban the Box legislation, please visit For more information about background checks, please visit Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) at, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email [email protected].



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