Currently there is a growing national movement to remove the question "Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor?" from job applications. Otherwise known as the "Ban the Box" movement.
In most states employers are permitted to ask about or consider arrests that did not lead to conviction.
However, the Ban the Box” movement that is happening across the country, calls for employers to wait until a prospective employee is being interviewed or has a provisional job offer before inquiring whether he or she has a criminal past. The aim here is that ex-offenders will have a better chance at getting a job if they’re not eliminated at the very beginning of their job search.
According to a Mar 2011 study from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) titled ‘65 Million Need Not Apply’ found that more than one in four adults in the U.S. had criminal records. The study estimated that 65 million people – representing 28 percent of the U.S. adult population – had a criminal record for either an arrest or a conviction on file. Find out more about the study from NELP at http://nelp.3cdn.net/e9231d3aee1d058c9e_55im6wopc.pdf.
This year, Minnesota became the third state in the nation to pass a law requiring private employers to eliminate the potentially incriminating check box. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
While some employers are more relaxed than others and are willing to consider an applicant based on upon his or her abilities to do the work required for the position, there are hiring managers who will not even consider someone with a criminal record.
First Intel Group is a member of the National Association of Professional Backgrounds Screeners and follows this trend closely. For the latest developments contact us directly at http://firstintelligencegroup.com/.