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Ban-the-Box Train Keeps Rollin’ and Will Keep Rollin’; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com


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Ban-the-Box Train Keeps Rollin and Will Keep Rollin

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September 9, 2021 Return to News & Events

Ban-the-Box Train Keeps Rollin’ and Will Keep Rollin’; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

The state of Maine joins the growing ranks of states and cities operating under Ban-the-Box laws, laws that govern the fair and legal use of criminal history as part of applicant vetting and pre-employment background screening. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, opines: “Anytime a state or city enacts Ban-the-Box legislation, hiring managers and HR Departments should continue to take urgent note and retain a best practice of working with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, in order to remain complaint with laws governing background screening.”

Maine becomes the latest state to enact Ban-the-Box legislation laws which are designed to reduce discrimination in the hiring process as well as designate when the question of a criminal history can be asked, or if it can be asked. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “Ban-the-Box laws continue to get enacted across the country and with every new law Hiring Managers and HR Departments should be reminded to ensure all hiring policies are current by working with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.”

Advocates of Maine’s new Ban-the-Box law state the law will protect vulnerable populations from potential discrimination.

From the Maine Center for Economic Policy, on September 1, 2021:

Maine joined 14 other states in enacting protections for job applicants with a history of arrest or incarceration (LD 1167). These “ban the box” laws prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on a job application … The practice of running criminal background checks on job applications has been shown to disproportionately impact people of color, who are more likely to be unfairly arrested than white Mainers. (1)

Maine’s Ban-the-Box legislation goes into effect on October 18, 2021. The new law will significantly impact hiring of new employees and how background screening is managed.

From JDSupra.com on September 3, 2021:

The new law prohibits an employer from requesting “criminal history record information” from an applicant on the employer’s initial employment application. Criminal history record information is defined broadly and includes, among other things, arrests, detentions, indictments, sentencing, involuntary commitments, and criminal dispositions.

An employer may, however, inquire about an applicant’s criminal history record information, including through background checks, during an interview, or after the employer has determined that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the job. (2)

Almeida adds: “Employers should take great care in hiring and in the vetting process. Understanding the laws that govern public records, such as Criminal History Reports, is paramount.”

The national trade organization for background screening, SHRM, states the consequences of going astray on the vetting process in a recent post.

From SHRM.org on August 11, 2021:

Individuals or the Maine Department of Labor may bring a civil action for violations of this statute and the Attorney General may investigate and bring an enforcement action for complaints of employment discrimination under this new statute. (3)

Almeida concludes: “A best practice remains for all hiring managers and HR Departments, not just in Maine but across the country, is to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, in order to remain compliant with laws governing the use of public records in applicant vetting.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com 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 CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.

Notes:

(1) jdsupra.com/legalnews/maine-s-new-ban-the-box-law-when-can-6722814/

(2) mecep.org/blog/progress-for-maine-workers-in-the-first-part-of-the-130th-legislature/

(3) shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/maine-limits-pre-hire-inquiries-into-criminal-history-of-job-applicants.aspx

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