STATE AND LOCAL BAN THE BOX LEGISLATION INDEX FOR 2021 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ
New York City Enacts Amendments to New York City Fair Chance Act
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.
Maryland’s Montgomery County Amends, Expands Its ‘Ban-the-Box’ Law
January | Maryland: An amendment to ban-the-box legislation in Montgomery County increases restrictions in employers during the hiring process.
NYC Adds Protections for Employees with Criminal Arrests or Convictions During Employment
January | New York City: Amendments to New York City’s Fair Chance Act add new protections for employees with arrests or convictions during employment.
Illinois Set to Enact New Law Limiting Criminal Convictions in Employment Decisions
February | Illinois: A new law takes the Illinois Human Rights Act one step further in banning the use of criminal history in employment decisions.
City of Lakeland Implements Ban the Box
February | Florida: A “Ban the Box” process has been put into place that removes the questions about prior criminal convictions for job applicants.
Should People with Criminal Convictions Be Able to Work in Health Care? A Bill in Washington’s Legislature Would Relax State Laws
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.
Amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act Regarding Criminal Convictions
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.
Michigan’s Clean Slate Law Effective April 11, 2021
February | Michigan: A new “Clean Slate” law has been passed in Michigan that sets aside or automatically expunges certain misdemeanor and felony conviction records.
Illinois Tightens Restrictions on Employer Use of Criminal Background Checks
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.
California DFEH Ramps Up Enforcement of FEHA’s Protections Against Criminal Record Discrimination
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).
Waters, Trone Introduce Historic Legislation to ‘Ban the Box’ on Employment Applications Nationwide Ahead of House Vote on Police Reform
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.
N.Y. Pols Propose ‘Clean Slate’ Legislation to Seal and Expunge Criminal Record
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.
Does Your Company Give Employees and Applicants a “Fair Chance”? Navigating Expanding Criminal Background Inquiry Bans Across the Country
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.
Philadelphia Expands Criminal History and Credit Screening Ordinances, Further Restricting Employment Decisions
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.
Kentucky’s New ‘Reentry’ Law Gives Employers Clearance to Hire Workers with Criminal Backgrounds
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.
DeSoto Votes in Favor of ‘Ban-the-Box’ Policy for Job Hiring
April | Texas: DeSoto City has joined the city of Austin and 36 states in removing job barriers for people with records.
What All Illinois Employers Need to Know about Illinois’ New Background Check Law
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.
State Survey — Considering Criminal Convictions in Private Employment Decisions
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.
Georgia’s SB 288: Giving Rehabilitated Individuals a Second Chance
May | Georgia: Georgia is now the 42nd state to remove certain convictions from their criminal record after a period of “conviction-free” years.
New Alabama Law Could Make It Easier for Reformed Criminals to Get Jobs
May | Alabama: Alabama’s REEDEEMER Act allows for people convicted of misdemeanor offenses and certain nonviolent felonies to have their records expunged.
Arizona Law Helps Ex-Offenders Obtain Employment and Occupational Licenses
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.”
BYU LawX Launches Goodbye Record to Address Flaws in the Expungement Process
May | National: BYU Law’s Goodbye Record is an online resource assisting individuals, legislators and corporate partners to address flaws in the expungement process.
Survey Reveals Americans Want Employers to End Discrimination Against Job Seekers with Criminal Backgrounds: Kelly CEO Encourages Companies to Act
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.
Illinois Employers Take Note, Human Rights Law Expanded to Require “Interactive Assessments” When Considering Conviction Records for Employment Screening Purposes
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.
New Arizona Law Eases Restrictions for Obtaining Occupational Licenses for Those with Criminal Histories
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.
Oregon’s Expungement Statute Gets a Much-Needed Overhaul
June | Oregon: Oregon’s expungement statute has been updated with several important changes pertaining to waiting periods and non-convictions.
Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Part of Waterloo’s ‘Ban the Box’ Ordinance
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.
Walmart Accused of Bias Against Workers with Criminal Histories
July | National: A nationwide class action alleges that Walmart faces claims it discriminates against Black and Latino job applicants through its background screening process.
Maine ‘Ban the Box’ Criminal History Inquiries Prohibited on Job Applications
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.
Connecticut Bans Inquiries into Job Applicants’ Age
July | Connecticut: A new law will prohibit employers with at least three employees from inquiring into the age of prospective employees.
Louisiana ‘Fair Chance’ Law Restricts Employer Discretion in Considering Candidates’ Criminal History
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.
Louisiana Enacts Law Impacting Employer Consideration of Applicant Criminal Histories
August | Louisiana: The Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill that prohibits discrimination in employment based on criminal history records and provides criteria for employers.
NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance on Consideration of Criminal History in Hiring and Employment
August | New York: Significant protections have been added to the NYCHRL regarding applicant criminal and employee criminal history.
Most New York City Employers Must Revise Background Screening Processes to Comply with Amendments to New York City Fair Chance Act
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.
Maine’s New ‘Ban-the-Box’ Law: When Can Employers Inquire About Criminal Histories?
September | Maine: A new ban the box law limits employer inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.
Amendments to New York City’s “Ban the Box” Law Bolster Its Protection of Applicants and Employees
September | New York: New York City’s Fair Chance Act has been amended, expanding protections for applicants and employees with criminal histories.
Evolution of “Ban the Box” Laws and Why Your Standard Background Check Forms May No Longer Be Sufficient
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.
New Jersey Acting Attorney General and Department of Labor Commissioner Announce Agreements with 15 Employers in “Ban the Box” Enforcement Sweep
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.
Orange County to “Ban the Box” Asking Job Applicants About Past Criminal Convictions
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.
Louisiana Enacts Law Impacting Employer Consideration of Applicant Criminal Histories
November | Louisiana: A new bill has been passed that prohibits discrimination in employment based on criminal history records criteria for employers making hiring decisions.
How States Are Expanding Access to Work Using Fair Chance Licensing
November | National: At least 44 states have adopted fair chance licensing legislation to reduce barriers to licensure for people with criminal records.
Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019
December | National: The FCA has passed congress, “banning the box” and its impact on the employment opportunities for people with records.
Federal Fair Chance Act Will Soon Require Federal Contractors to ‘Ban the Box’
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.