Colorado poised to ‘ban the box’

Colorado appears poised to join a number of states that prohibit employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application.

On April 30, 2019, the Colorado legislature sent House Bill 19-1025 to Governor Polis’ desk. Assuming Governor Polis signs the Bill, Colorado will join a number of other states and ‘ban the box‘.

If the bill is signed into law, Colorado employers will be prohibited from:

  • Stating in an employment advertisement that a person with a criminal history may not apply for the position
  • Stating on any form or application for employment that a person with a criminal history may not apply for the position
  • Inquiring into or requiring an applicant to disclose any criminal history on an initial employment application

Colorado would become the latest in a long line of states implementing ‘ban the box’ legislation. Currently, 34 states and over 150 localities have enacted ‘ban the box‘ laws for public employers; approximately 13 states and 17 localities have extended such laws to private-sector employers, and some jurisdictions have extended such laws to government contractors.

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