What is “Ban the Box” and how does it affect your company’s hiring policies?
As of July 2015, eighteen states have enacted statewide “Ban the Box” Fair Housing Laws
The map below shows states that have not joined the “Ban the Box” movement, states with a state law and states with at least one city or county with a fair chance policy. Click on an individual state for more information on that states criminal background check policy for businesses. Please note, this map is continually being updated so check back often.
– These states have at least one city or county with a fair chance policy
– These states have a state law
What is The “Ban the Box” Fair Employment Policy?
The “Ban the Box” Fair Employment Policy was created as a way to give people with criminal records a fair chance at securing a job in a competitive workplace. The term “Ban the Box” was initially coined by grassroots organizers in the early 2000s. These organizers pressured local governments to have questions about prior convictions removed from job applications. If employers absolutely needed to have information about past convictions due to the nature of the job being applied for, they could ask the applicant at a later stage of the hiring process.
The reasoning behind the “Ban the Box” movement was that employers would be more likely to accept or reject an applicant based on their qualifications if there was no check-box for past convictions, rather than automatically rejecting an applicant based on criminal history. Fair chance policies have now been implemented in 13 states and in dozens of counties and cities throughout the United States.
In some cases, fair employment policies have gone beyond simply removing a criminal history check-box and have been expanded to ease many different employment barriers. Some policies delay background checks and take steps to ensure that individuals are not accepted or rejected for employment based solely on the results of a background check. HR outsourcing services can help companies ensure that they are utilizing fair chance policies in their hiring processes.
Why Are Fair Chance Policies so Important?
It is conservatively estimated that approximately 70 million individuals in the United States have a criminal record of some sort. Additionally, approximately 700,000 incarcerated individuals are allowed to return to the free community every year. It is important for these individuals to be able to support themselves and their families after they are released from incarceration. By supporting the rights of previously incarcerated individuals to seek employment opportunities, communities become safer, families are strengthened, and childhood poverty is reduced.
How You Can Start a Fair Chance Campaign
If you want to encourage fair employment policies in your area, you can start your own Fair Chance Campaign by using media to your advantage and gaining grassroots support to your cause. Here are a few steps you should follow for developing a local Fair Chance Campaign:
- Research and compile facts to show why fair chance hiring practices are needed.
- Identify and recruit fair chance organizers and advocates.
- Figure out the strategy and goals for your campaign.
- Launch your campaign.
- Garner vocal support for fair chance policies and give supporters a voice through social media.
Recruit Help for Drafting a Fair Chance Policy
Throughout the country, many variations to fair chance policies exist, and there is no single model that is the best pattern for your proposed fair chance policy. In order to draft a policy that aligns with the laws in your state or city, it is important to recruit expert help. HR outsourcing services are familiar with the many employment regulations in your state and can help you to come up with a realistic and legitimate fair chance policy proposal that you can push with the help of your Fair Chance Campaign. If you are smart and adequately prepared, you can make a difference in the employment practices of your state.