What to Do About ‘Ban the Box’

by Andria L. Ryan

“Ban the Box” is a national civil-rights movement backed by advocates for job applicants with criminal convictions. Proponents of these laws believe that expanding employment opportunities for individuals with criminal convictions is a major factor in lowering recidivism rates.

Generally the laws prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal-background history until later in the interview process. Most of these laws prohibit employers from including the have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense” question on an employment application – thus “banning the box” – and instead limit employers’ ability to ask the criminal-history question until after a conditional offer of employment is made or after an applicant has been selected for an interview.

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