Ban the Box: Major US Cities and Counties Adopt Fair Hiring Policies

It is estimated that 65 million Americans (1 in 4 adults) have a criminal record that may show up on a routine pre-employment background check. More and more employers are using background checks as part of the pre-screening process for new hires. Many cities and counties across the nation are responding the new EEOC guidelines to help remove barriers for qualified workers with criminal records. By removed conviction history question from job applications – commonly known as “ban the box” they are attempting judge applicants on their merits.

Chicago mayor, Richard Daley, states, “Implementing this new policy won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do…We cannot ask private employers to consider hiring former prisoners unless the City practices what it preaches.

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission “EEOC” issued a revised guidance in April of 2012 asking that employers as a “ best practice…not ask about convictions on job applications and that, if, and when they make such inquiries, the inquiries be limited to convictions for which exclusion would be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”

Liberty provides the guidance below for 43 local jurisdictions across the United States, taken from the National Employment Law Project’s “NELP” website. For a full copy and detailed descriptions of ordinances and legislations, please go to the NELP site, which offers key information.

Boston, MA
ORDINANCE APPLIES TO CITY AND VENDORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified candidates

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Policies applies to vendors/contractors doing business with the City

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

San Francisco, CA
APPLIES TO CITY AND COUNTY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for finalists for positions

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Chicago, IL
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer of employment

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

St. Paul, MN
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified candidates

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Minneapolis, MN
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background checks only for otherwise qualified applicants

·         Background checks required only for some positions

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

East Palo Alto, CA
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

Oakland, CA
APPIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer of employment

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report

Cambridge, MA
APPLIES TO CITY AND VENDORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Policies applies to vendors/contractors doing business with the City

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal prior to adverse determination

·         Provides copy of background check report

Baltimore, MD
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background checks only for otherwise qualified candidates

·         Background checks only required for some positions

Austin, TX
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified candidates

·         Background checks only required for some positions

Berkeley, CA
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer of employment

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Norwich, CT
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer of employment

New Haven, CT
APPLIES TO CITY AND VENDORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer of employment

·         Policies applies to vendors/contractors doing business with the City

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report

Seattle, WA
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report

Providence, RI
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants

Hartford, CT
APPLIES TO CITY AND VENDORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer of employment

·         Background check only required for some positions

·         Policies applies to vendor/contractors doing business with the City

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

Worcester, MA
APPLIES TO CITY AND VENDORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified candidates

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Policies applies to vendor/contractors doing business with the City

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report upon request

Jacksonville, FL
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after applicant selected for hire

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

Bridgeport, CT
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

Kalamazoo, MI
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

Memphis, TN
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report

Cincinnati, OH
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report

Detroit, MI
APPLIES TO CITY AND VENDORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants

·         Policies applies to vendors/contractors doing business with the City

Philadelphia, PA
APPLIES TO CITY AND PRIVATE EMPLOYERS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after applicant selected

·         Policies applies to private employers in the City

Washington, District of Columbia
APPLIES TO DISTRICT

·         Banned the box

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Durham, NC
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer

Compton, CA
APPLIES TO CITY AND CONTRACTORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer

·         Policies applies to contractors doing business with the city

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

New York City, NY
APPLIES TO CITY AND SOME CONTRACTORS

·         Banned the box

·         Policies applies to contractors doing business with the Human Services Department

Cleveland, OH
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

Richmond, CA
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Background checks only required for some positions

Atlantic City, NJ
APPLIES TO CITY AND VENDORS

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer is given

·         Policies applies to vendors/contractors doing business with the City

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

Carson, CA
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Spring Lake, NC
APPLIES TO TOWN

·         Banned the box

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Newport News, VA
APPLIES TO CITY

·         Banned the box

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Newark, NJ
APPLIES TO CITY, PRIVATE EMPLOYERS, LICENSING AND HOUSING

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after conditional offer

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Policies applies to private employers, licensing and housing

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report

Carrboro, NC
APPLIES TO TOWN

·         Banned the box

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Alameda County (Oakland & Berkeley, CA area)
APPLIES TO COUNTY

·         Banned the box

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Multnomah County (Portland, OR area)
APPLIES TO COUNTY

·         Banned the box

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Travis County (Austin, TX area)
APPLIES TO COUNTY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after applicant is selected for hire

·         Background checks only required for some positions

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

Cumberland County (Fayetteville, NC area)
APPLIES TO COUNTY

·         Banned the box

Muskegon County (Northwest of Grand Rapids, MI area)
APPLIES TO COUNTY

·         Banned the box

Santa Clara County (San Jose, CA area)
APPLIES TO COUNTY

·         Banned the box

Durham County, NC (Durham, NC area)
APPLIES TO COUNTY

·         Banned the box

·         Background check only after applicant selected for hire

·         Incorporates EEOC language into selection criteria

·         Right to appeal denial of employment

·         Provides copy of background check report