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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has signed an Executive Order that will make Georgia the 14th state to Ban the Box. Job applicants will no longer be required to disclose their criminal histories on job applications for state jobs. A copy of the Executive Order is available at

The Executive Order would prohibit Georgia state agencies from using a prior criminal history as an automatic disqualification for job applicants and allow them the opportunity to discuss their criminal records. The term “Ban the Box” refers to the box on job applications that applicants are asked to check if they have criminal convictions. The Ban the Box policy should:

  • Prohibit the use of a criminal record as an automatic bar to employment.
  • Prevent the use of an application form that inappropriately excludes and discriminates against qualified job applicants.
  • Promote the accurate use and interpretation of a criminal record.
  • Provide qualified applicants with the opportunity to discuss any inaccuracies, contest the content and relevance of a criminal record, and provide information that demonstrates rehabilitation.
  • Not affect applications for sensitive governmental positions in which a criminal history would be an immediate disqualification and initial disclosure on such applications shall be required.

The Ban the Box policy states: “Ban the Box” is a policy intended to improve public safety, enhance workforce development, and provide increased state employment opportunities for applicants with criminal convictions on their records by removing the criminal history related questions from the initial stage of the state employment application process.

According to research by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), more than 100 cities, counties, and states have adopted Ban the Box policies. The other 13 states besides Georgia to adopt a Ban the Box policy are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.

Ban the Box Updates from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – offers a Ban the Box Information Page with links to news and resources about the Ban the Box movement. For more information about Ban the Box, visit For more information about ESR, call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit