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Change to Ban the Box Laws Can Lead to Confusion for Hiring Managers and HR Departments; Opines

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May 13, 2021 Return to News & Events

Change to Ban the Box Laws Can Lead to Confusion for Hiring Managers and HR Departments; Opines

Ban the Box legislation continues to expand across the country but challenges to pre-employment vetting remain as existing laws get modified or get challenged over legality or jurisdiction. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: “Ban the Box isn’t going away and will continue to expand across the country, yet it should be noted that when laws change or get adapted hiring managers and HR departments should take immediate note and continue a best practice of working with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment agency, such as, in order to remain compliant with laws governing the use of public records in hiring.”

Pennsylvania recently updated Ban the Box laws, further restricting employers use of public records, and represents just one of many challenges employers face in maintaining current and compliant hiring policies. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, states: “Working with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background agency, such as, remains a best practice in staying current with rapidly changing Ban the Box legislation.”

Changes to current employment and Ban the Box laws in Pennsylvania highlight how these laws can evolve and potentially create confusion for hiring managers and HR Departments.

From the National Law Review on April 9, 2021:

Changes to Philadelphia law will further restrict employers’ use and reliance on applicant, current employee, and independent contractor background information and affect the employee application and employee management process. (1)

One of the more interesting changes to the law relates to current employees.

Again, from the National Law Review on April 9, 2021:

Bill No. 200479 amends the FCRSS to make it applicable not only to the application or transfer process, but to the use of any current employee criminal histories. The law’s restrictions and procedural requirements now apply also to current employees, as well as applicants in Philadelphia. Moreover, independent contractors and gig workers are afforded the same protections as full-time or part-time employees or applicants. (2)

Almeida states: “Ban the Box laws can be challenged based on legality and/or jurisdiction.”

In Iowa such a challenge to Ban the Box laws occurred, something hiring managers should be aware of and monitor.

From Courthouse News on April 9, 2021:

An Iowa city’s ordinance that initially bars employers from checking job applicants’ criminal background records should be struck down because it conflicts with state and federal law, an Iowa business group told the state’s high court…(3)

Almeida concludes: “Hiring managers and HR Departments should always take note of challenges or reform to an existing law. These changes could greatly affect the ability to use certain records, such as criminal history reports, as part of the pre-employment process. A best practice is to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency.” is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and for over 17 years has maintained an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with



(2) ibid.


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