Kansas City 'bans the box' for private employers

Missouri has become the latest state to ‘ban the box’ for private employers, with Kansas City adopting a ‘ban the box’ ordinance to bar private and public employers from asking applicants about criminal records and delay such inquiries until later in the hiring process.

Kansas City government adopted the policy for most city employees in 2013, while Missouri approved it for state hiring in 2016. Now, the policy will affect private employers, too.

Paralleling the EEOC’s guidance, the ordinance requires an employer basing a hiring or promotion decision on an applicant’s criminal history to be able to demonstrate that the decision was based on “all available information” including consideration of the frequency, recentness and severity of a criminal record.

Councilman Jermaine Reed says it’s time for the private sector to follow suit. He sponsored the 2013 ordinance. He says many “continue to be stigmatized by old criminal records.”

The ordinance will take effect on June 9, 2018.

Nationwide, more than 150 cities and counties, and 30 states, have passed ‘ban the box’ hiring legislation. Fifteen major cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have adopted ‘ban the box‘ hiring laws that cover both public- and private-sector employers.

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