Vermont Governor, Peter Shumlin, signed an executive order which effectively "bans the box" for employment applications. The order becomes effective July 2017 for all public and private employers. Employers will no be allowed to ask job applicants to inform them if they have criminal convictions during the initial application process.
Vermont follows many other states, counties and municipalities across the country who have implemented similar legislation. The "Ban the Box" movement has been trending across the country and seeks to provide ex-cons with a fair chance at employment.
"It gives everyone an opportunity to make their case, regardless of whatever mistakes they've made, to get a job and make a brighter future," Governor Shumlin said of the bill.
Employers can inquire about an applicant's background in later stages of the hiring process. Vermont law also provides exemptions for certain positions where having a criminal record would automatically disqualify someone under state or federal law.