Portland’s Ban-the-Box Law Takes Effect, Administrative Rules Provide Clarity

Portland, Oregon’s ban-the-box law, the Removing Barriers to Employment Ordinance, took effect on July 1, 2016. The ordinance prohibits most Portland employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history or conducting a background check on an applicant until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Late last month, the Portland City Attorney’s Office published administrative rules and documents related to the ban-the-box ordinance. The newly released rules, which by their terms are to be “liberally construed,” provide insight into how the city and the commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) will enforce this new law. The Portland ban-the-box law and ban-the-box laws in other jurisdictions, including all federal and state background check requirements, are summarized in Ogletree Deakins’ O-D Comply: Background Checks and O-D Comply: Employment Applications subscription materials, which are updated and provided to O-D Comply subscribers as the law changes.

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