While Ban the Box legislation isn’t new, the sentiment continues to gain momentum. For those not aware of the term “Ban the Box”, it is an effort to limit questions about a person’s criminal history during the hiring process. While there has been a peppering of state, local and federal laws throughout the country, Texas has also had changes. For instance, Ban the Box laws have passed in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas County and Travis County. However, Austin laws not only restrict city government hiring, but also private companies with 15 or more employees. The federal government has also added to its own policies by signing the Fair Chance Act into law, late last year, which would apply to federal and contract workers.
What does this mean for background checks? The most important thing is not only being knowledgeable regarding federal requirements, but your state and local laws as well. Ban the Box laws are different everywhere and understanding how they impact your screening process is important. Some prohibit you from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on the application and some require you to wait until after the interview, or extending a conditional offer of employment. It’s also good to note that these laws will continue to evolve as some experts have begun to debate the consequences of them, and if they’re achieving their intended goal. For this reason, it’s essential you consult with your legal counsel and make sure you have an experienced background check provider that remains up-to-date on all fair chance hiring laws. It’s time to saddle up!
When your business needs assistance with employment screening, criminal checks, FCRA compliance, drug screening, education and employment verification, driving records (MVR), credit checks or social security number validation, contact the Swailes Background Team to get quickly signed up.