Arizona Enacts Ban-the-Box Law

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey just recently signed an executive order banning the question asking about criminal history records from state employment applications.  Arizona has now joined many other States and Jurisdictions banning the question on job applications that asks whether or not the applicant has a criminal record.  The national movement has effected hiring processes and most especially the pre-employment background screening process.  In the case of Arizona the new law delay’s questions related to an employment applicant’s criminal record until after the initial stages of interviewing.  Other States and municipalities ban-the-box laws forbid the employer from performing criminal background checks on the job applicant until a conditional offer of employment is made; this also includes not inquiring about criminal history as well until after the conditional offer is made.

The new Arizona ban-the-box law only applies to state employment applications however state laws tend to trickle into the private sector meaning that businesses in Arizona should take preemptive steps in updating their employment background screening programs to reflect State law.  Now is the time to review any existing pre-employment background screening policies to ensure full compliance with existing law and potential changes in law.  Every time a state or municipality enacts ban-the-box legislation it is a clear signal to all business to make sure they are compliant with laws governing the use of public records in employment screening, especially the use of criminal background records.

From (Nov. 07, 17):

On November 6, Arizona governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order making Arizona the most recent state to adopt a “ban the box” law. The state joins Pima County and Tucson – Arizona localities that have already joined the “ban the box” movement.

Under the new policy, state agencies will delay questions related to an employment applicant’s criminal record until after the initial stages of interviewing (i.e., until an applicant has submitted an application and received an initial interview).

As the number of States and Municipalities adding ban-the-box legislation increases the likely hood that this will effect pre-employment screening laws of businesses nationwide is extremely high.  Criminal record inquires get moved from being a part of the application process to a question asked post-offer and one that has to be very specific to the position in question.

The ban-the-box movement is designed to help formerly incarcerated individuals in the USA gain a more equal footing during the job application process.  The theory is based on the fact that many employers were immediately discarding job applications from applicants that checked off that they had a criminal history.  Now without that question being asked on the initial application the thought is that ex-offenders would be given a better opportunity at gainful employment thus leveling the playing field.

With the question of criminal background history delayed the job application process should in theory become more equal for individuals with a criminal past.

It is extremely important that businesses and organizations in light of the new Arizona law review and update their hiring procedures and policies.  Additionally the best practice for creating or updating existing employment screening policies and procedures is to work with a professional USA based background screening agency to ensure compliance with all current laws and potential laws.

To read more about this subject read recent press release found at:

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