Oregon aims to ‘ban the box’

passed a statewide “ban the box” law, which would prevent employers from asking job applicants if they have a criminal record prior to an interview or — sans interview — a conditional offer of employment. Most employers in the state would be required to remove any questions about a candidate’s criminal history from its job applications, and may not ask questions about a candidate’s convictions prior to an interview. (If a candidate is not interviewed, questions may not be asked about convictions until a conditional offer has been extended.) Only a few employers are considered exempt from Oregon’s proposed ban-the-box law, including law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, and those positions where state and/or federal law requires a clean criminal history. The proposed law does not specify which employers must conform to ban-the-box practices. It is also not specified whether the law applies to those hiring private contractors. If applicants feel they are being discriminated against, they may file a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which can fine employers up to $1,000 per incident for violating ban-the-box practices. Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill into law. If passed, the new law would go into effect on January 1, 2016, and would make Oregon the 17th state to pass a statewide ban-the-box law.]]>

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