The “Ban the Box” movement that seeks legislation to remove questions about criminal records of applicants from initial job applications is rapidly spreading across the United States and fast becoming a national standard that will soon affect most employers.
To help employers better understand Ban the Box – named for the box on job applications that applicants are asked to check if they have a criminal history – Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of San Francisco Bay-area background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present a complimentary webinar titled “Ban the Box – What Employers Need to Know” on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.
According to research from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), national advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage and unemployed workers, nearly 70 U.S. cities and counties – including San Francisco – and 13 states – including California – have passed Ban the Box legislation.
Rosen, author of “The Safe Hiring Manual,” will explain how the Ban the Box movement seeks to delay inquiries into and use of the criminal records of job applicants until later in the hiring process so candidates are judged fairly on their knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position in question. He will also show how Ban the Box relates to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance on criminal records.
As CEO of a background check firm located in the San Francisco area, Rosen will also focus on the Fair Chance Ordinance that took effect August 13, 2014 to Ban the Box for private employers in the City and County of San Francisco. Rosen has created a San Francisco Ban the Box Infographic designed to help employers in San Francisco better understand the Fair Chance Ordinance. The ESR website also offers a Ban the Box Information Page with links to the latest news about the Ban the Box movement.
According to NELP, major U.S. cities besides San Francisco with Ban the Box laws include: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH, Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, MO; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Seattle, WA; Tampa, FL; and Washington, DC.
Hawaii became the first state to adopt a Ban the Box policy in 1998. Currently 13 states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island – have passed Ban the Box legislation to some degree.
The Ban the Box movement arose due to the large number of job seekers with some form of criminal record for arrests or convictions. A 2011 study by NELP called “65 Million Need Not Apply” found that nearly 65 million people in the U.S. – more than one in four adults – were estimated to have criminal records. NELP has since revised that number up to approximately 70 million U.S. adults.
To register for the complimentary webinar “Ban the Box – What Employers Need to Know” hosted by Attorney Lester Rosen on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Time, please visit http://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4488944598710491905.