Banning the Box: Employment Hiring

ban.jpgBan the box legislation is affecting the hiring practices and process of employers by directly impacting the pre-employment inquiries into an applicant’s criminal records, People with criminal records will find that it will be difficult to get a job which is often due to employers and their use of blanket policies that will ultimately exclude applicants with criminal records. Many states and cities and counties ha enacted ban the box legislation recently which will limit the use of criminal records in the employment process and hand ex-offenders’ opportunities to get over just the job application and a better chance to get offered a job and actually getting it.

Banning the box adds questions about criminal records that will later pop up in the pre-employment screening and hiring process but it does not prohibit a check on criminal records earlier to employers making a job offer. The makers of the ban the box legislation will argue that the benefits of it will reduce unemployment, decrease the offenders to repeat their crimes increase employer’s pool of qualified employees and prevent racism and race discrimination resulting from disparate impact.

Ban the Box Legislation

Always understand that ban the box does not prevent employers from conducting checks on criminal records. Background checks are allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 92 percent of all employers conduct a check on criminal records on applicants even though this varies across the industry segments and job categories. And ban the box legislation are not pushing employers to hire people with criminal records nor does it make criminal records have a protective group or prevent employment discrimination on ex-offenders.

Ban the box puts the questions about criminal records in the pre-employment screening and hiring process. A major advocate of the ban the box legislation is an approach to act as fair chance that will help improve the employment prospects of ex-offenders by giving the entire applicant an opportunity to pass the qualification on jobs without automatically being rejected because of their criminal records.

Why Ban the Box?

Coalition Delivered Over 130,000 Signatures to White House to Ban the BoxThe ban the box legislation has a major argument which is an economic one. Because of the stigma associated with having criminal records, ex-offenders are experiencing a lot of difficulty in finding jobs that those who don’t have criminal records.

Concerns of Employers about Banning the Box

Employers have safety concerns with ban the box legislation, disagreeing and arguing that the safety of the public could be a risk if there are restrictions in questioning about the applicant’s criminal records. Employers are under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which they are legally responsible for providing a hazard free workplace that will avoid death or serious harm to their employees. So any constraints to prevent employers from asking for criminal records are at conflict with the legal mandate to keep the safety of the workplace.

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Criminal Records in Employment Hiring

criminal recordsBefore hiring, employers have the right to see an applicant’s criminal records but that right has a lot of limits. The employer’s decision in not hiring an applicant based on their criminal records should connect to the job which means criminal records will show that the applicant could be a liability in the job they are hiring for and in most cases employer is not allowed to use arrest records and are not allowed to expunge crimes which are the ones removed from criminal records. Ban the box legislation has encouraged a lot of people from 18 state and federal employees and 100 cities and counties to remove questions about the history of criminal records from job applications which are pushing background checks in the back part of the hiring process after an applicant’s chance to present their qualifications.

What Are Criminal Records?

Criminal records are documentation of people’s criminal histories compiled on federal, state and local levels by law enforcement agencies. Criminal records will usually list non-expunged offenses.

When Are They Used?

Criminal records are for employers mostly, to find out how long was an applicant’s criminal activity. Regulatory agencies are also beginning to use criminal records to see the eligibility for occupational licenses which agencies check to see if a person had convictions of offenses that will bear fitness to license in that occupation.

backgroundcheck_web2_sh1Can I Check My Own Criminal Records?

While websites are all popping up claiming they can give you access for you to take a peek at your criminal records, the safest ways are to ask the criminal records from the jurisdiction where you had convictions.

In Hiring, Why Would Employers Use Criminal Records?

A lot of employers conduct background checks against lawsuits for negligent hiring, to protect themselves. Negligent hiring happens when an employer knew or predicted that the employee they hired was unfit or dangerous for a particular job if an employee harmed or incidents with fellow employees or the company’s client and customers while they are at work, the employer will have lawsuits.

Can Criminal Records Block Opportunities in Certain Jobs?

Yes, criminal records can block opportunities in some jobs like in certain circumstances, criminal records can ban employment from banks and other companies that has sensitive information while felony convictions on criminal records have restrictions on having possession or using guns and are unable to work in a job that requires them to carry a firearm.

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