What Do "Ban the Box" Laws Mean for Employee Background Checks?

One of the most frequently discussed trends in the background check industry over the past few years has been the legislative movement to “ban-the-box.” The “box” in the term refers to the question on job applications that ask candidates whether or not they have been convicted of a crime. “Ban the box” laws require employers to remove the boxes from job applications to prohibit discrimination against individuals with criminal records.

According to the National Employment Law Project, over 100 cities and 18 states have passed some form of “ban the box” legislation. “Ban the box” laws assist nearly 70 million Americans who have a criminal record of some kind and 700,000 more per year who are released from prison and seek employment to support themselves and their families. But many employers believe “ban the box” laws are unfair because there is little consistency to them, which makes it difficult for multi-state employers. Some of the laws simply “ban the box,” while others add additional reporting requirements, which makes following the laws confusing.

Employers should double check the laws in their state, city and county to determine whether they are allowed to ask applicants about their criminal past. They should continue to conduct criminal background checks if they comply with the new rules because they have a responsibility to protect their employees and provide a safe working environment.

DataCheck, a leading full-service background investigation company, stays on top of “ban the box” laws and can help you maintain adherence to them. While we specialize in obtaining pertinent information through criminal background checks on a statewide and national level, we are fully aware of “ban the box” legislation around the country and are committed to compliance.

Criminal checks are one of many components of our comprehensive background checks, which also include address and employment verification, education, credit reports and drug history. We also offer e-verify services to insure your new employees’ legal right to work, which will help you avoid unauthorized employment.

We are dedicated to promoting a safe workplace for both employers and employees and will continue to provide crime reports and drug screening so you can minimize risks while hiring. But we don’t want to infringe on the rights of job applicants, so we comply with “ban the box” laws around the country.

Contact DataCheck toll-free at 800-253-3394 for information about the “ban the box” laws in your area, which we adhere to completely as we provide you with accurate background checks on your job applicants.

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