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Sunday, April 21, 2019

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Ban-the-Box turns 20 years old!

Ban-the-Box turns 20 years old!

The state of Hawaii set the wheels in motion for the ban-the-box movement with their fair-chance law, enacted in July 1998. The “box” refers to the box commonly included in an employment application which asks the candidate if they have been arrested or convicted of a crime in the past.

The ideology behind removing or banning the “box” is to allow candidates to be considered for their qualifications against the requirements of the position to which they are applying, and to wait until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended to inquire about criminal history. Proponents of the law believe that waiting until later in the process to determine prior criminal history reduces recidivism, puts more people back to work, and reduces disparate impact on certain populations.

Since Hawaii’s law, multiple states, cities and municipalities have followed suit with some sort of fair- chance or ban-the-box law. The variances in the laws can be mind-boggling, particularly for multi-city or multi-state employers. If you are having trouble keeping abreast of the rapidly changing legislation, or determining which laws take precedence, you are not alone. The Society of Human Resource Management has done a great job of compiling and updating a list of jurisdictions that have ban-the-box laws, here. We can help too, please contact us.

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