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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Ban the Box movement that removes criminal history questions from initial job applications is becoming a national trend “that will soon affect all types and sizes of employers,” according to Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR). Rosen’s comments are featured in an article originally published in Business News Daily and now available online at

Rosen, author of “The Safe Hiring Manual,” told Business News Daily that “we are near a tipping point” with Ban the Box and advises employers “to adjust to it and move forward.” Ban the Box seeks to delay inquiries into and use of the criminal records of job applicants until later in the hiring process. So far nearly 70 U.S. cities and counties and 13 states have passed Ban the Box legislation, according to research by the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Rosen told Business News Daily that Ban the Box does not mean employers are prevented from asking about the criminal history of job applicants or conducting background checks on job candidates and must hire ex-offenders. Ban the Box just prevents employers from asking about criminal records up front. “The best practice is to not ask about a criminal record until after the interview,” said Rosen. “That means the person got to the interview process fair and square.”

However, Business News Daily reports Rosen is concerned with certain aspects of Ban the Box. Regarding the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO) that took effect August 13, 2014, Rosen said that “while employers can check on a candidate’s criminal history after they conduct a first interview, they cannot inquire about or consider convictions that are more than seven years old.” Rosen also wrote an article about the San Francisco Ban the Box law detailing how to remain in compliance.

Rosen told Business News Daily that despite some concerns he is in favor of all employers – even those not currently under a mandate from Ban the Box legislation – eliminating criminal history questions from job applications. Rosen said there is no reason to rule out people with a criminal history early in the hiring process since any criminal records should be discovered during background checks. “The person could be the answer to your needs,” Rosen said.

More Ban the Box Information from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – has recommended its clients consider utilizing a Ban the Box approach in hiring. ESR is offering employers nationwide a Ban the Box Information Page that contains links to the latest news about the Ban the Box movement available at For more ESR News blogs about Ban the Box, visit