Nationwide, there are approximately 29 states and over 150 cities and counties that have adopted some form of “ban the box” legislation. Although the legislation varies from one jurisdiction to the other, typically it requires employers to remove the criminal history check box from employment applications. This does not prevent employers from asking about criminal history, but it does limit when an employer can ask. Proponents believe that banning the box helps balance the inequities faced by convicted felons who are attempting to re-enter into the workforce; giving them a “fair chance.”
Background checks have been a tool for employers to use to screen applicants for quite some time. However, recently there have been many changes and an increase in litigation in the background check arena.