Ban the What? Oh, #BanTheBox

By now, almost everyone, HR related or not, has heard of “Ban the Box”. It is a movement that is endorsed by both state and national levels of various movements which is meant to safeguard those with past convictions an opportunity at employment.

Does the Ban the box movement effect hiring companies and background check companies??   Yes it most certainly does.  Beginning in 2004, the campaign was designed with the focus on employers to give all fair applicants a fighting chance at employment. By removing the check box that asks if applicants have had a criminal record, it has become a highly controversial campaign.

The most recent state to enact this measure is Virginia, which approved the measure on April 3, 2015. The states in which the ban-the-box movement have passed are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, and Rhode Island. Additional states with cities and counties that have banned the box include: Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If that isn’t dizzying enough, Target in Minneapolis and all of the Wal-Mart stores have removed the box as well. While not all states are enforcing this movement, over 100 cities and counties have passed this movement which means this movement is going viral and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

From the perspective of risk mitigation and maintaining a safe working environment, it is important for Human Resource Departments to know as much information early in the hiring process so they are able to make sound decisions.   Many employers, however, see this as a difficult decision if they are not informed of past convictions and can base judgments on their qualifications. By performing background checks on applicants towards the end stage of the hiring process, turnaround time becomes an issue. Whether or not one is in favor or opposition of the ban the box movement, employers have options to speed up the overall screening process. MBI has the technology and expertise to turnaround a request with the client’s best interest and time-sensitive need in mind.

If you are in the HR industry and have questions regarding the Ban the Box Movement pertaining to background check reports, please call our toll free number at 866-ASK-4-MBI (866-275-4624) and one of our live customer service support team members can help.

Written by M. Moyers