New executive order expands ‘ban the box’ trend

November 03, 2015 0 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama’s plan to issue a “ban the box” Executive Order may not directly affect nonfederal government employers, but it continues a movement in both the public and private sectors against considering criminal history early in the hiring process. A White House fact sheet issued November 2, the same day Obama traveled to New Jersey to outline plans to help the formerly incarcerated, explains that the president is directing the federal Office of Personnel Management “to take action where it can by modifying its rules to delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process.”  Hand with pen and check boxes isolated on white background

The fact sheet says most federal agencies already have taken that step. It also notes that many states and cities have passed laws requiring employers to remove the job application section that asks if prospective employees have a criminal record. The fact sheet also notes that many private companies have decided on their own to delay asking about criminal history until later in the hiring process to make sure job seekers aren’t unnecessarily screened out before having a chance to explain their circumstances.

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New Alabama law opens door to erase certain criminal convictions

June 19, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Whitney Brown

A new Alabama law taking effect July 7 allows individuals to apply to have certain criminal proceedings expunged, meaning an applicant will be excused from disclosing the offense on employment applications.

Offenses must be misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies, and charges must have been dismissed, been “no-billed” by a grand jury, been dismissed following the offender’s completion of a deferred prosecution program, or yielded a “not guilty” verdict.

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Minnesota’s “ban the box” law takes effect January 1

December 03, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Richard R. Voelbel

Minnesota’s new “ban the box” law takes effect January 1, meaning private employers will be prohibited from inquiring about a job candidate’s criminal background until after the candidate has been selected for an interview or has received a conditional offer of employment.

Public employers already have been prohibited from including a box on job applications requiring applicants to reveal criminal history. After January 1, private employers will join public employers in no longer being allowed to “inquire into or consider or require disclosure of” an applicant’s criminal record or criminal history until after the applicant has been selected for an interview. If there is no interview, the prohibition applies until a conditional offer of employment is made.

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