Ban The Box

What is Ban the Box?


Ban the box is a movement that forbids employers from asking about an applicant's criminal past and limits access to criminal records until a specific point in the application process. It is the name of an American campaign led by the supporters of ex-offenders.


Why is it called Ban the Box? 


It is named so to eliminate the check box on job applications that asks if candidates have a criminal record. Most ban-the-box laws go far beyond simply removing a check box. Ban the box laws may govern when an employer can ask about criminal history, give background-check disclosures and authorization forms, and conduct a background check, depending on the jurisdiction.


What is the purpose of Ban the Box?


The main goal of the movement Ban the Box (BTB) is for companies to evaluate applicants based on their qualifications, quality, and abilities rather than their criminal records.

Since they have a criminal past, most job seekers often lose out on opportunities before even attending an interview. They are unable to apply for most employment because of their criminal record, meaning that there is no second chance.

Note: Employers should be aware that the Ban the Box act does not prevent them from conducting a criminal background check. Rather, the law prohibits them from doing a background check until a particular stage in the interview process, after which they can investigate a candidate's criminal history.


How did the Ban the Box movement start? 


The ban the box movement began in Hawaii in 1998 when a law was established preventing companies from asking job candidates about their criminal records. Following then, the campaign has grown in popularity, with supporters claiming that it is now more vital than ever, owing to tighter sentencing laws and more reliance on background checks since 9/11. 

In October 2013, the corporate social responsibility advocacy group Business in the Community in the United Kingdom began a "ban the box" campaign. 


What are some restrictions imposed by Ban the box? 


Employers are subject to the following restrictions as a result of Ban the Box: 


1. What questions businesses can ask prospective employees before hiring them

2. When an employer can inquire about a person's criminal past

3. How far back in a person's criminal background an employer can enquire about


For the law to be fair, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) took a stand and established some ground rules and principles. They advise organisations to consider the following when it comes to the Ban the Box law:

- The nature and seriousness of the applicant's original crime or behaviour.

– The amount of time that has transpired since the offence, conduct, and/or sentence was completed; and

— The nature of the job now held or sought by the ex-offender

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