Ban the Box creates fair hiring practices
It’s common place on many job applications — the check box that asks “Have you ever been convicted…” Basically, do you have a criminal record?’
This question is leading and sets a dividing line between applicants that have had any criminal offense and those that do not.
Even though it is legal for employers to ask job applicants about criminal history, federal law does prohibit employers from discriminating based on their knowledge of criminal history.
Let that sink in… they can ask, but they can’t use that knowledge in the pre-employment screening process.
Ban the Box is a worldwide campaign that aims to remove questions about criminal convictions in the pre-employment screening process.
Realizing the potential for some subconscious decision-making based on this check box, more than 100 cities have adopted fair-hiring practices and chosen to ban the box on pre-employment screening. There are 18 states with legislation to ‘ban the box,’ although Arkansas is not among them.
Led by grassroots civil and human rights groups, the campaign “Ban the Box” pledges to give applicants a fair opportunity to present their strengths and qualifications before being subject to the stigma of having a criminal record.
“These initiatives provide applicants a fair chance by removing the conviction history question on the job application and delaying the [criminal] background check inquiry until later in the hiring,” criminal records expert attorney Michelle Natividad Rodriguez said.
There is a great volume of precedence set by the federal courts which demonstrates pre-employment screening for criminal records is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
One of the several cases cited concluded “that it was discriminatory under Title VII for an employer to “follow the policy of disqualifying for employment any applicant with a conviction for any crime.”
In summary, the report recommended to “eliminate policies or practices which exclude people from employment based on any criminal record.”Find out more information at bantheboxcampaign.org .