Tennessee has joined the list of states passing some form of “ban the box” legislation with the passage of Senate Bill 2440. Governor Bill Haslam signed the measure on April 14.
Many states, counties, and cities across the country have joined the ban-the-box movement by prohibiting job applications that require applicants to check a box indicating whether they have a criminal record.
Tennessee’s law doesn’t affect private-sector employers. Instead, it prohibits state employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on the initial application. The law has an exception for (1) positions that require a criminal background check under federal law and (2) positions for which the commission of an offense is a disqualifying event for employment under federal or state law.