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'Ban-the-Box' Compromise Bill Moves to Senate

Date: May 08, 2014

HB 5701, which will remove from job applications the question of whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a crime, passed the House and is now in the Senate Executive Committee. 

Proponents of so-called ban-the-box legislation have argued many qualified job seekers don’t get through the initial application process to interview because employers simply disregard them if they have a criminal history. In some cases, the crime may have been committed decades earlier but they are still required to check the box.

HB 5701, which would apply to employers with 15 or more employees, may continue to do background checks on applicants and ask in interviews about criminal history, but it would not be allowed on the application itself.

However, there are exceptions to the bill:
  • An employer who is prohibited by state or federal law from hiring someone with a criminal history will be exempt. 
  • An employer may notify applicants up front if specific criminal offenses will disqualify them from employment due to the employer’s own policy. For instance, if a retailer has a strict policy that it does not hire anyone who has been convicted of retail theft in the last 5 years they may notify all applicants of this policy.
 
The bill is a product of compromise between the sponsor, advocates and the business community. NFIB is now neutral.

PHOTO: Éovart Caçeir/Wikipedia

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