Ban the Box

One of the fastest-moving trends in employment law involves the plethora of "ban the box" laws affecting private employers that have sprouted up in many states and municipalities. The name stems from the box on job applications that prospective employees are often asked to check if they have ever have been convicted of a crime. These laws make it illegal to include criminal history questions on initial job applications.

The primary goal behind these measures is to prevent qualified, rehabilitated job applicants from being automatically excluded from consideration without the chance for an interview. Ban the box laws are also thought to reduce recidivism.

A host of cities have "ban the box" measures that go beyond most state laws, including several that bar criminal history inquiries until after an interview has taken place or a conditional job offer has been extended. Using XpertHR's various Tools and resources can help an employer stay abreast of this "ban the box" trend.

50-State Charts

Ban the Box Laws by State and Municipality


What is "ban the box" legislation?

May an employer ask on an application form if an applicant has any arrests or criminal convictions?

Can Massachusetts employers ask job applicants about their criminal histories?

Employment Law Guide

Recruiting and Hiring > Preemployment Screening and Testing

How To

How to Use Criminal Records for Employment Purposes

Policies and Procedures

Employment Application Form

Background Check Policy