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ban the box

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Spokane County Board of Commissioners has voted to Ban the Box and will “remove questions about past criminal convictions from county job applications” to give applicants seeking employment with Spokane Country, Washington a fair chance, according to a report from The Spokesman-Review.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the new Ban the Box hiring policy “means job applicants will no longer be asked to disclose criminal convictions from the past 10 years, and the county will not conduct a background check until after it determines a candidate is otherwise qualified.”

“Once you have paid your debt to society, why should that impede your effort to gain employment?” Commissioner Al French told The Spokesman-Review, who also reported four percent of nearly 14,000 applications processed by the county in 2016 “were eliminated because of a prior criminal conviction.”

The Ban the Box policy does not apply to departments dealing with public safety – including the courts, sheriff’s office, and detention services – or to private-sector jobs. The complete story is available at

In September 2014, ESR News reported the city of Spokane, Washington “would join a nationwide trend to Ban the Box and no longer ask city job applicants about their criminal background” and revise city employment applications to give “more equal footing for meaningful employment” to ex-offenders.

Nationwide, 29 states and more than 150 cities and counties have Ban the Box laws that remove the criminal history question from applications, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), which estimates the number of Americans with criminal records to be approximately 70 million people.

More Information about Ban the Box from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers employers a Ban the Box Information Page that contains news and legal updates about statescities and counties, and resources. The ESR Ban the Box Information page is 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.

© 2017 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.


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