"Ban The Box" – Coming Soon To An Employment Application Near You
Thomas Cox’s article “”Ban The Box” – Coming Soon To An Employment Application Near You” was featured in the Atlanta Tribune on February 2, 2016.
For many job applicants, especially those with a criminal background, it is one of the most dreaded questions on a job application: “Have you been convicted of a criminal offense?” Check “the box” yes or no. Recently, there has been a movement to “ban the box” on employment applications and to delay any consideration of criminal history until a later stage in the hiring process. The “ban the box” movement has now gained national momentum.
President Obama recently directed federal agencies to "ban the box" in their hiring decisions, prohibiting them from asking prospective federal government employee applicants about their criminal histories on job applications. He noted that some 70 million Americans have some form of criminal record and also commented that the existence of a criminal background in many instances prevents many Americans from “getting their foot in the door” to get a job, even after having paid their debt to society.
In the article, Thomas explains the purpose of “ban the box” litigation and provides advice to employers regarding how to comply with the law.
He concludes by stating, gone are the days when checking the box “yes” means the end of the road for an applicant with a criminal background. It looks like the “ban the box” movement is likely here to stay.