Federal Agencies to Ban the Box?

Darrell Issa is among legislators leading an effort to help convicts get jobs.

Darrell Issa is among legislators leading an effort to help convicts get jobs.

After a number of states took up “ban the box” measures and a couple of big companies followed suit, lawmakers have introduced legislation to make federal hiring practices fairer to former convicts. The law would prohibit federal agencies and contractors from asking about an applicant’s criminal past until after a conditional job offer is made, with some exceptions such as for law enforcement positions.

The goal in this and other similar efforts is to give convicts re-entering society a better chance at rehabilitation. At the press conference, one of the sponsors of the bill, Senator Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quoted former President Reagan: “The best social program is a job.”

This effort dovetails with an effort by the EEOC to encourage background screening later in the hiring process and only after the applicant is being considered for the position. And then, to only consider information that is relevant to the position being filled.

None of this means you can’t consider an applicant’s history in the hiring process, but it does mean you shouldn’t disqualify candidates based on something as simply as a checked box. Find out more about our job specific background screening packages or give us a call at 800.230.2991.