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Ban the Box Laws by State and Municipality

Author: David B. Weisenfeld, XpertHR Legal Editor

There is a trend at the state and local levels to protect prospective employees convicted of a crime from automatic disqualification during the selection process. So-called "ban the box" laws prevent an employer from requesting a prospective employee's criminal history information on an employment application.

This chart provides an overview of the ban the box laws in effect at the state and municipal levels affecting the private sector. States that have no requirements regarding a ban the box law are marked N/A in the chart. Additional details are available in many cases by clicking on the relevant state or locality.

Some jurisdictions prohibit an employer from asking whether an applicant has been convicted of a crime until a specified point in the hiring cycle (e.g., the interview stage or after a conditional job offer has been made). Several states also have laws imposing restrictions on an employer's ability to use credit history in making employment decisions. Review variations in credit check requirements by state in Credit Check Limitations by State and Municipality.

In light of these ban the box laws, an employer may wish to ensure their employment application conforms with this trend. See Employment Application Form for a template that can be used that complies with these requirements.