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ban the box

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed into law “Ban the Box” legislation – ACT 276 – House Bill 688 (HB 688) – that will prohibit public postsecondary education institutions from inquiring about the criminal history of prospective students prior to their acceptance for admission except for history pertaining to specific offenses. The Louisiana Ban the Box law takes effect on August 1, 2017.

However, HB 688 does make exceptions so that colleges and universities may inquire about aggravated sexual assault or stalking convictions, although there is an appeals process if an applicant is denied based on those questions. The Ban the Box law also does not prevent colleges and universities from asking about the criminal history of students after they are admitted and if they apply for financial aid or campus housing.

HB 688 makes Louisiana the first state in the nation to Ban the Box on admissions applications for all of its public colleges and universities. Currently, 28 states and over 150 cities and counties have Ban the Box laws to remove barriers to employment for qualified workers with criminal records so they may be first judged on their skills and ability, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

The Ban the Box movement is named for the check box on job applications that applicants are asked to check if they have a criminal record. NELP estimates that approximately 70 million people in the United States – roughly one in three adult Americans – have a prior arrest or conviction record. For more information about Ban the Box, visit


Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a strategic choice for employers who need accuracy and compliance in their background screening programs. ESR offers a Ban the Box Information Page with news and legal updates about states with Ban the Box lawscities and counties with Ban the Box laws, and resources for Ban the Box. For more information about ESR, visit

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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