Ban the Box Keeps Gaining Steam…
We’ve posted several times about the constantly developing ban the box laws being implemented across the country. Over half of the states have passed some sort of ban the box law, and multiple county, city, and municipalities have enacted their own legislation, making it difficult for employers to ensure compliance with overlapping laws.
In case you missed our previous posts, ban the box is a movement to remove questions relating to previous criminal history from the employment application. Proponents of the law feel this allows for candidates to be considered on their experience and qualifications as they relate to the position for which they have applied. Ban the box movements wish to shift the evaluation of previous criminal history to later in the process, hopes to remove bias, and in turn, anticipates that more people will get back to work.
Today we discuss more changes related to various city and state changes relating to ban the box legislation.
Recently, Kansas City removed the “box” from their applications, and then it was taken a step further by removing previous salary history from the application. The goal is to remove pay differences, reduce legal liability, and allow candidates to be evaluated on their merits - and paid commensurately for the position.
The State and City of New York enacted a ban the box law in 2015. The law requires employers to remove the box and conduct an individual assessment considering the bearing of the criminal history against the duties and requirements of the position. The New York Attorney General is enforcing this law as exemplified in the recent Aldo Group case, wherein they were assessed a penalty for violating the ban the box law.
Massachusetts amended their ban the box law, effective October 13, 2018, which imposed additional employers requirements and timeframes related to asking about and considering criminal history on applicants.
If you are finding difficult keeping up with the changing law, you are not alone. We have found that the National Employment Law Project has created a good resource for staying abreast of evolving ban the box laws.
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This is not legal advice, for legal advice please seek legal counsel.