Will your state enact ban-the-box laws in 2015?
In 2014, several states and metro areas instated laws that prohibit public employers from immediately disqualifying candidates that carry a criminal record. An employee criminal history disclosure is no longer required on initial job applications in Washington D.C., New Jersey, and Delaware, all of which passed ban-the-box laws this year, as did cities in New York, Maryland and Missouri, just to name a few. While businesses prepare to wrap up the year, it’s a good time for human resource departments to take a look at their hiring policies and documents to make sure they’re in compliance with existing ban-the-box laws. Thirteen states currently have state-wide laws requiring public companies to remove the “have you previously been convicted of a crime” question from job applications. Another 17 states are piecing together ban-the-box laws city by city. Not only should your HR employees ensure that your business is complying with current laws, they should also keep abreast of what new ordinances and laws may be going into effect at the beginning of the year. They also need to keep track of the laws that are being considered in their cities or states, as they may need to adjust hiring policies if those pieces of legislation pass muster. HR departments can stay on top of all this by reviewing the public records after city council meetings, and regularly checking out the docket of cases to be heard by the state legislature. They can also review existing application processes, including when background checks are conducted and what the application document requires for those with previous convictions. If ban-the-box laws are already in place in your area, but your business has not enacted policies for ensuring those with employee criminal history records aren’t discriminated against, failing to do so could cause the business to be fined for lack of compliance, as some Minnesota businesses found over the past year. To learn more about how to hire the best talent and conduct employee criminal history background checks without breaking your state’s ban-the-box laws, contact Mind Your Business today. Photo credit: The National Employment Law Project]]>
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