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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On February 13, 2017, the Albany County (NY) Legislature voted 32 to 3 to approve “Local Law N” to Ban the Box and remove the check box on county job applications that applicants are asked to check if they have a criminal record, according to a report on the WAMC/Northeast Public Radio website.

“People are automatically excluded from employment if that box is checked ‘yes.’ If you got a hundred applications and an HR person is going over all the applications they can eliminate that ‘yes box’ for people immediately,” Albany County Legislator Doug Bullock stated in a WAMC audio report.

WAMC also reports that “lawmakers are hoping the new law can eventually be amended so that the box would be banned on all job applications in the county, not just the ones offering county jobs.” The complete WAMC report is at

More than 150 cities and counties as well as 25 states have adopted Ban the Box policies to help the estimated 70 million people in the United States with a prior arrest or conviction record have a fair chance at employment, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

“The concern is that job applicants with criminal records will be automatically rejected just based upon their status as ex-offenders as opposed to what they can offer an employer,” explains Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of the background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

“That does not mean that a background check will not be conducted or that an employer cannot exercise appropriate due diligence, but just that it is delayed until later in the process,” said Rosen, author of a revised 3rd edition of his book “The Safe Hiring Manual” that was published in January 2017.

Ban the Box Movement Quickly Spreading in U.S.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers employers a Ban the Box Information that contains links to news and updates concerning Ban the Box States, Cities and Counties, and Resources. To learn more about Ban the Box, please visit

The fact that Ban the Box is becoming more the rule than the exception when screening potential employees is the number one trend in the ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2017.’ The complete list of trends is available at

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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