Ban the box altogether?

Is it time for Human Resources to just “ban- the- box” altogether?

Numerous cities, counties and states across the country have enacted legislation “ban- the- box” however, this term is a misnomer. The box actually isn’t banned in most cases. Instead legislation often requires that the box must be moved to another part of the recruiting and application process and often carries numerous stipulations and requires a great deal of documentation. For example, particularly onerous procedures must be implemented to meet New York City and Massachusetts “ban- the- box” legislation. Employers often fail to meet the stringent guidelines.

Numerous violations have been cited against employers across the country on the city, county and state level. Failure to comply with the stringent “ban- the- box” guidelines can be an expensive proposition and a public relations nightmare for an employer. Massachusetts is the most recent state to cite numerous businesses for violation of the state’s “ban-the-box” law.

In our role as a background investigation vendor, we have literally come across hundreds and hundreds of candidates who are caught in the “ban-the-box” quagmire. Even though the EEOC require specific steps before declining in employment opportunity due to a criminal record check, applicants still fear that their application will end up in the circular file should they admit to a prior criminal record.

Questions for Human Resources to ponder, if you are conducting criminal record checks through a primary source, do you really need to include the box in your application process and run the risk of potential litigation? How many people are turned away from your employment application process due to the box? Is the box discriminatory in practice even when the employer follows all state and local “ban-the-box” guidelines?

It is time for employers to “ban-the-box”?