Author: David B. Weisenfeld, XpertHR Legal Editor
The recent trend of states enacting Ban the Box laws is part of a movement to prevent employers from treating all criminal convictions as a sort of "Scarlet Letter" that has the effect of discriminating against minority applicants.
Ban the Box refers to the "box" on job application forms where prospective employees are asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime. Some states make it illegal for employers to ask applicants such questions until a conditional job offer has been made while others ban the practice until the interview stage.
Many of the nation's largest cities also have enacted laws prohibiting employers from asking applicants if they have been convicted of a felony on job application forms.