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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

One of the largest employers in the United States has adopted a “Ban the Box” policy as Koch Industries, Inc. announced that criminal history questions about job applicants will be removed from applications for positions with the company, according to a news release from the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

The expression “Ban the Box” refers to the conviction history check-box that is rapidly disappearing from many job applications in the U.S. The Ban the Box fair-hiring practice postpones inquiries about criminal histories of applications until later in the hiring process so applicants can be evaluated first on their qualifications and skills.

Koch Industries – a $115 billion company and one of the nation’s largest employers with more than 60,000 employees – joins other large national employers such as Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Bed Bath & Beyond in adopting Ban the Box. Such fair chance hiring policies are gaining widespread acceptance in the business community.

According to NELP, 100 cities and counties nationwide have adopted Ban the Box legislation. In addition, 16 states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia – have a Ban the Box policy.

As reported by ESR News in April 2015, technology giant Apple barred construction workers with prior felony criminal convictions in the past seven years from building the company’s new campus in Cupertino, California. Apple has since lifted the requirement that people convicted of such felonies could not work on the Cupertino construction site.

More Ban the Box Information from ESR

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

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