A Bill to Ban the Box on Employment Applications

A Bill to Ban the Box on Employment Applications

The Legislature declares that it is the duty of the state of [Insert State Name] to encourage and contribute to the successful reintegration of people with a criminal history. The ability to procure meaningful employment is essential to reinstating good citizenship.  The Legislature also recognizes that reducing barriers to employment for persons with a criminal history is a matter of statewide concern and that increasing employment opportunities will reduce recidivism and improve community stability.

Section 1: Scope

(A) This Act shall be known and may be cited as the “Ban-the-Box Act.”
(B) This Act shall only apply to public employers and shall not apply to private employers.
(C) This Act will not be applicable to public employers that require, by state or federal law, a criminal history inquiry as a preliminary qualification to be considered for public employment. Such positions may include law enforcement, community safety, civil service, and any position that involves direct interaction with minors or the elderly.
(D) This Act shall not apply to the practice of law, but nothing in this Act shall be construed to preclude the Supreme Court, in its discretion, from adopting the policies set forth in this Act.
(E) This Act encourages similar hiring practices among local governments and private employers operating within the state.

Section 2: Definitions

(A) “Public Employer” means the state of [Insert State Name], its agencies, boards, commissions.
(B) “Inquiry” means any direct or indirect conduct intended to gather information, using any mode of communication.
(C) “Applicant” means any person considered for, or who requests to be considered for, public employment or any current employee considered for, or who requests to be considered for, another position of public employment.
(D) “Criminal History” means a state or federal conviction of a crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, that bears upon an applicant’s fitness for public employment.

Section 3: Criminal History

(A) A public employer shall not ask an applicant to disclose, orally or in writing, information concerning the applicant’s criminal record or history, including any inquiry on any employment application, until the applicant has (i) signed the appropriate waiver authorizing release, (ii) is being considered for a specific position, (iii) and has received an interview.
(B) Where a background check has been lawfully completed and a criminal history exists, the state will consider the following criteria before either proffering or denying an offer of employment:

i) The nature and gravity of the offense;
ii) The length of time that has elapsed since the offense occurred;
iii) The age of the person at the time of the conviction;
iv) Whether the offense is reasonably related to the duties and responsibilities of the employment sought by the applicant;
v) Any information pertaining to the degree of rehabilitation that may have taken place in the applicant.

(DC) A record of arrest that did not result in conviction shall not be the basis for disqualification from public employment.

(ED) The public employer must inform the applicant of the potential adverse employment decision based on the background check report prior to a final decision and must provide an opportunity to demonstrate that the applicant was not correctly identified in the background check report or that the report is otherwise inaccurate.

4: Remedies

(A) Any complaints or grievances concerning violations of this Act by public employers shall be processed and adjudicated in accordance with the procedures of this state’s Administrative Procedure Act.


Approved by Task Force in December 2015