What does “Ban the Box” mean?

Ban The Box

Ban The Box

Typically, “Ban-the-Box” initiatives prohibit employers’ job applications from having any question asking the applicant of convicted crimes.  On paper applications, this has been a check box — hence the term “Ban-the-Box”.

Q.  Do “Ban-the-Box” laws prohibit using background checks?

A. No. Typically, “Ban-the-Box”  laws do not forbid employers from running pre-employment background checks.  Some of these laws do stipulate when a background check can be used in the hiring process.  If the law in question does touch on the timing, it typically falls into one of two events: either after the first job interview, or after a conditional job offer has been made.

Q. Do all “Ban-the-Box”  laws apply to private and public sector employers?

A. No. A majority of the state level laws apply to public sector employers only.

Q. Which states have “Ban-the-Box”  laws that apply to private employers?

A. Here are the states that currently have laws in place that “Ban the Box” for private employers.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont 

Q. What municipalities/counties have ban the box laws that impact private employers?

A. Here is a list of the municipalities that currently have private employer initiatives:

  • Austin, TX
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Columbia, MO
  • District of Columbia
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • Prince George County, MD
  • Rochester, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Spokane, WA
  • Washington, DC