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County Level Ban-the-Box Continues the Trend of Managing Use of Criminal Records in Background Screening

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October 7, 2021 Return to News & Events

County Level Ban-the-Box Continues the Trend of Managing Use of Criminal Records in Background Screening

Ban-the-Box laws are designed to reduce potential discrimination in hiring and continue to be implemented across the country, from a statewide level down to city and county. Recently, Orange County, in Florida, enacted a new Ban-the-Box law that will remove the question regarding criminal history on any governmental employment application.

From WFTV on September 11, 2021:

On government job applications for Orange County, applicants have been asked to check a box stating, “Have you ever pleaded no contest to, or been convicted of, a first-degree misdemeanor or any felony?”

By removing this question, officials hope to improve access to employment for those with a criminal record and provide advancement for residents in underrepresented communities.

Officials said the change will not apply to public safety positions like firefighter and corrections officer. (1)

As with most Ban-the-Box laws the goal is to improve employment opportunities and allow formerly incarcerated individuals a potential pathway back into mainstream employment.

From the Orlando Sentinel on September 10, 2021:

People applying for a job with the Orange County government will no longer have to disclose prior criminal convictions at the beginning of the application process, a move officials and advocates hope will improve access to employment for those with a criminal record(2)

Hiring managers and HR Departments should take immediate note of changes in laws governing the use of public records as part of a pre-employment background screening can occur frequently.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, states: “It is critical that HR departments stay abreast of ban-the-box laws as they could significantly impact hiring practices.”

While ban-the-box laws are increasingly common within the public sector there are similar laws in place affecting the private sector, and, in some cases, private companies, such as Target, have moved away from asking about criminal history on an employment applications.

Almeida adds: “Not all ban-the-box laws are equal and can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Certain laws only affect the public sector, while others affect the private, and each law can be vastly differed in what is allowed as far as the use of criminal background records is concerned.”

As companies slowly emerge from Covid lockdowns and supply chain challenges, hiring will recommence in a broader manner across the country. Ban-the-box laws could allow a broader population access in filling those empty positions, but pre-employment background screening will remain an important part of the hiring process.

Almeida concludes: “As laws change and evolve, a best practice remains for hiring managers and HR Departments to work closely with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as” 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




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