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January 21 2015

Ban the Box: A Discussion of State and Local Laws

According to the National Employment Law Project, 67 cities and counties and 13 states have adopted such provisions.[1]More cities and states are expected to follow suit. ThisCommentarydiscusses the current state of the ban the box laws, the risks that these laws pose to employers, and strategies for compliance. It also contains a chart with highlights of key provisions from the jurisdictions that have enacted such laws as of the time thisCommentaryis published. Thirteen states have passed ban the box statutes: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.[3]Of these states, only six-Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island-regulate private employers' use of criminal records.[4]In addition to these statewide regulations, 67 cities and counties throughout the country have adopted ban the box ordinances, including New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, the District of Columbia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, and New Orleans.[5]While not every city and county ordinance applies to private employers, a growing number do:San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, New Haven, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Baltimore.[6]