What is "ban the box" legislation?

Author: Jessica Sussman

"Ban the box" legislation generally prohibits prospective employers from requiring applicants to disclose or check a box on an application indicating they have a criminal record. Several states have adopted these laws to assist individuals with criminal records in finding employment.

Some states permit background checks to be run only after a conditional offer of employment has been extended. If an employer withdraws an offer of employment based on the findings of a criminal background check, the employer must present the applicant with the background check, explain why the position was incompatible with the results of the background check and inform the applicant that he or she has the right to appeal the decision.