STATE AND LOCAL BAN THE BOX LEGISLATION INDEX FOR 2021 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ
January | New York City: Amendments to the city’s Fair Chance Act (FCA) have become law, expanding employment protections for applicants and employees with criminal charges or arrests.
January | Maryland: An amendment to ban-the-box legislation in Montgomery County increases restrictions in employers during the hiring process.
January | New York City: Amendments to New York City’s Fair Chance Act add new protections for employees with arrests or convictions during employment.
February | Illinois: A new law takes the Illinois Human Rights Act one step further in banning the use of criminal history in employment decisions.
February | Florida: A “Ban the Box” process has been put into place that removes the questions about prior criminal convictions for job applicants.
February | National: A bill that would end the automatic disqualification of people with certain criminal convictions from working in healthcare and home care is being discussed by lawmakers.
February | Illinois: Employers must determine that there is a substantial relationship between the conviction and the position being sought or that there is substantial risk before taking adverse action over a history of criminal convictions.
February | Michigan: A new “Clean Slate” law has been passed in Michigan that sets aside or automatically expunges certain misdemeanor and felony conviction records.
March | Illinois: A new Section 103.1 has been added to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) that restricts the ability of employers to rely on conviction records during hiring.
March | California: The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is making extra efforts to enforce the protections offered by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
March | National: The Workforce Justice Act has been introduced to Congress in an effort to reform a portion of the criminal justice system and encourage states to “ban the box” on applications.
March | New York: The “Clean Slate” bill would create a process to automatically seal and eventually expunge past convictions, making it easier to find work and housing opportunities.
March | National: Fair Chance and Ban the Box legislations are being signed into law all across the country, aimed at making it easier for those with past convictions to obtain employment.
April | Philadelphia: A new ordinance aims to prohibit employers from inquiring into a candidate’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
April | Kentucky: House Bill 497 creates a certificate program that will give employers relief from civil liability for hiring an ex-offender who was trained for a particular job.
April | Texas: DeSoto City has joined the city of Austin and 36 states in removing job barriers for people with records.
April | Illinois: The Illinois Human Rights Act has been amended to impose robust new restrictions and obligations on employers’ use of background checks in the state.
May | National: Several states are moving beyond “ban the box” to significantly restrict an employer’s ability to consider criminal convictions when making employment decisions.
May | Georgia: Georgia is now the 42nd state to remove certain convictions from their criminal record after a period of “conviction-free” years.
May | Alabama: Alabama’s REEDEEMER Act allows for people convicted of misdemeanor offenses and certain nonviolent felonies to have their records expunged.
May | Arizona: A new bill amends the Arizona Revised Statutes and gives ex-offenders a chance to set aside prior convictions and seek a “Certificate of Second Chance.”
May | National: BYU Law’s Goodbye Record is an online resource assisting individuals, legislators and corporate partners to address flaws in the expungement process.
May | National: A Kelley survey has determined that seven out of 10 Americans say employers should eliminate blanket bans that reject job seekers with minor, non-violent criminal offenses on their record.
June | Illinois: The Illinois Human Rights Act has been amended to make it a civil rights violation for an employer to consider “conviction records” in making an adverse employment decision.
June | Arizona: A new law allows persons convicted of certain criminal offenses the opportunity to set aside a prior conviction and seek a Certificate of Second Chance.
June | Oregon: Oregon’s expungement statute has been updated with several important changes pertaining to waiting periods and non-convictions.
July | Iowa: An Iowa Supreme Court decision affirms a “ban the box” ordinance that businesses with more than 15 employees cannot ask about criminal histories before a conditional job offer has been made.
July | National: A nationwide class action alleges that Walmart faces claims it discriminates against Black and Latino job applicants through its background screening process.
July | Maine: The intention of legislation’s LD 1167 is to remove obstacles that preclude applicants with criminal histories from gainful employment in the state of Maine.
July | Connecticut: A new law will prohibit employers with at least three employees from inquiring into the age of prospective employees.
August | Louisiana: The Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law has been amended to impose fair chance requirements for any public or private employer with 20 or more employees.
August | Louisiana: The Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill that prohibits discrimination in employment based on criminal history records and provides criteria for employers.
August | New York: Significant protections have been added to the NYCHRL regarding applicant criminal and employee criminal history.
August | New York: Employment protections under the New York City FCA affect the process for taking criminal history into account and a full analysis of pending criminal arrests and charges.
September | Maine: A new ban the box law limits employer inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.
September | New York: New York City’s Fair Chance Act has been amended, expanding protections for applicants and employees with criminal histories.
September | National: “Ban the Box” laws continue to be replaced by more complex Fair Chance laws designed to take into account the expansion of criminal history laws.
October | New Jersey: Fifteen companies have agreed to stop including language about criminal history in their job advertisements and/or make changes to their hiring practices.
October | California: People applying for a job with the Orange County government will no longer have to disclose prior criminal convictions at the beginning of the hiring process.
November | Louisiana: A new bill has been passed that prohibits discrimination in employment based on criminal history records criteria for employers making hiring decisions.
November | National: At least 44 states have adopted fair chance licensing legislation to reduce barriers to licensure for people with criminal records.
December | National: The FCA has passed congress, “banning the box” and its impact on the employment opportunities for people with records.
December | National: Civilian and defense executive agencies are now banned from either awarding federal contracts or releasing payment to a contractor who violates the statutory requirements.