In a recent National Employment Law Project (NELP) report, we estimated that 65 million Americans-or one in 4 adults-have a criminal record that may show up on a routine background check report. (NELP Resource Guide)  Ban the Box eliminates barriers that people with criminal backgrounds face when finding employment, by removing conviction history questions from applications for jobs.

The belief is that by removing these questions, job applicants will be reassured that they will not be automatically excluded for consideration for a job because of their past mistakes. The removal of the box would allow applicants to be judged on their qualifications before their criminal history is taken into account.  This gives all applicants with criminal pasts a fair shot at obtaining employment.

Not everyone supports the Ban the Box initiative. Those who oppose the ban claim that the box safeguards our workplaces against the threat of ex-offenders and that these individuals could still pose a threat to the workplace.  An example would be if a housekeeper had a criminal history of theft, or a teacher had a criminal history with sexual assault.

For more information on this and to stay up to date, visit www.nelp.org.

Source:  National Employment Law Project Resource Guide