Imagine having your past mistakes come up every time you fill out a job application. You stare at the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” You don’t want to lie about your past but you also feel that truthfully checking the box has prompted multiple employers to reject you in your search for employment.
You have one open position at your company and you receive 100 applications. On 15 of those applications that box is checked “yes”, indicating that the potential employee has been convicted of a felony. Does this become a quick and easy way to “weed” out applications? Can you look beyond the checked box?
By removing the question “Have you been convicted of a felony,” from your initial job application you are demonstrating best practices in your hiring process. You are giving your potential employee the opportunity to have an in-person conversation with you about their past and to share with you the work they have done to change the direction of their life.
Minnesota has Ban the Box legislation in place for both the private and public sector!
Click on either image to find out how Minnesota supports private employers.
By hiring 100 formerly incarcerated people we could increase income tax contributions by $1.9 million, boost sales tax revenue by $770,000 and save $2 million annually by reducing criminal justice costs associated with recidivism!
Check out how Target is “leveling the employment playing field.”
and Washington D.C.
Who bans the box? Click on this map to see the National Employment Law Project’s Interactive Map
(may also have city and county fair chance policies)
Light Blue State = Has at least one city or county fair chance policy
Visit NELP’s on-line
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has created Enforcement Guidance on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Read the full report here: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm
Highlights from the report:
Federal EEOC laws prohibit employers from discriminating when they use criminal history information, except where the nature of the conviction may relate to the nature of the position, and including consideration of the time that has elapsed since conviction.
The Guidance discusses the differences between arrest and conviction records; the fact of an arrest does not establish that criminal conduct has occurred.
When asking questions about criminal records, limit inquiries to records for which exclusion would be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.
Identify essential job requirements and the actual circumstances under which the jobs are performed, then determine if there are specific offenses that may demonstrate unfitness for performing such jobs.
For more information:
Pre-Employment Inquiries and Arrest & Conviction http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/inquiries_arrest_conviction.cfm
Arrest and Conviction Records FAQ: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/_conviction_records.cfm
Background checks: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/background_checks.cfm
EEOC Enforcement Guidance http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm
Does Ban the Box legislation and polices really help communities?
This study concludes that they do. Read Southern Coalitions for Social Justices study, Benefits of Ban the Box , A study of Durham, NC.
The Society for Human Resources Management article, “Ban-the-Box Movement Goes Viral”, addresses some concerns and questions that HR departments may have about coming or current Ban the Box policies.