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Ban-the-Box Laws Continue to Appear Across the Country, Further Affecting Background Screening; Opines

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August 12, 2021 Return to News & Events

Ban-the-Box Laws Continue to Appear Across the Country, Further Affecting Background Screening; Opines

For the last 20 plus years Ban-the-Box laws have been enacted and have significantly changed the process of hiring in those jurisdictions which have these laws. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, opines: “As Ban-the-Box legislation become law hiring managers and HR departments should continue to take note and work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as, in order to remain complaint with a variety of complex laws governing the use of public records, such as Criminal History.

As Ban-the-Box laws are enacted across the United States, the federal government has finally enacted their own law, which becomes effective at the end of 2021.

From on July 23, 2021:

The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019 is set to become federal law effective December 2021. The law prohibits many federal agencies and federal contractors from requesting arrest and conviction information from a job applicant—at least until after extending a conditional offer of employment. Although this will be the first federal “ban-the-box” legislation to become law, 35 states, Washington, D.C., and numerous cities have already adopted similar requirements for state and local agencies and contractors. (1)

Ban-the-Box laws are designed to create a more equal playing field across all populations and decrease discrimination due to a criminal history indicator on an employment application.

Almeida adds: “Across the country there are a variety of laws that can be subtly different from one another. HR Departments and Hiring Managers should continue to take note every time a new law is enacted, to ensure their hiring and vetting policies and practices are legal and lawful.”

However, many of these laws, both federal and local, only apply to governmental agencies. The federal government continues to look at private industry.

Again, from, from July 23, 2021:

Notably, House Democrats are already looking to follow suit with H.R. 1598 (the “Workforce Justice Act of 2021”). If passed, the federal government would withhold funds provided under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program from any state that refuses to extend ban-the-box legislation to private employers. More specifically, the Act would require states to prohibit private employers from (1) requiring a job applicant to disclose a criminal record, (2) asking about the criminal record of a job applicant prior to making a conditional offer of employment, and (3) conducting a criminal background check prior to making a conditional offer of employment. That legislation is currently being reviewed by the House subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. (2)

Almeida concludes: “Companies and organizations should remain diligent with changes in law governing the use of public records, such as Criminal History, as a part of pre-employment background screening. Working with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as, should remain a best practice.” 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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