New Year, New Laws
Ban-The-Box is not a new topic in the world of employment laws. Over 20 percent of the United States population now lives in a state or locality that prohibits private employers from inquiring into an applicant’s record at the start of the hiring process. Nationwide, 29 states and over 150 cities and counties have adopted a Ban-the-Box law. A portion of those states have mandated the removal of conviction history questions from job applications for private employers.
With the turning of the New Year, New Jersey amended its ban-the-box law that went into effect in March 2015. As of December 20, 2017,New Jersey private employers are now prohibited from asking about an applicants’ expunged criminal records on job applications, including online applications, during the “initial employment process.” At any point post-interview, private employers will have the right to ask such questions.
Spokane, Washington also recently put into place the cities own ban-the-box ordinance. The new ordinance regulates when private employers can ask about and consider applicant’s criminal histories. The City of Spokane plans on the provision of the ordinance going into effect on June 14, 2018, but no fines for violations of the ordinance will be imposed until January 1, 2019.
On January 1, 2018, the newest ban-the-box law went into effect in California. All public and private employers cannot make a criminal history inquiry until after a conditional offer has been made to an applicant.