Navigating ‘Ban the Box’ Laws: What Employers Need to Know


September 25, 2023

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As an employer, keeping up with ever-evolving employment laws is crucial to ensure fair practices and avoid potential legal pitfalls. One such law that has gained significant traction across the United States in recent years is the ‘Ban the Box’ legislation. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of ‘Ban the Box’ laws, their implications for employers, and how businesses can adapt to these changes effectively.

Demystifying ‘Ban the Box’ Laws

‘Ban the Box’ is an initiative aimed at ensuring job applicants with criminal records are assessed based on their qualifications first, rather than past mistakes. The term ‘box’ refers to the checkbox on initial job applications that asks about an applicant’s criminal history. Over 37 states have a ‘Ban the Box’ policy in place for the public sector and more than 150 cities and counties have implemented some form of ‘Ban the Box’ legislation.

The Purpose Behind ‘Ban the Box’ Laws

‘Ban the Box’ laws aim to delay the point in the hiring process when an employer can inquire about an applicant’s criminal history. The primary goal is to provide individuals with criminal records with a fair chance at employment, allowing them to be evaluated first and foremost on their skills, qualifications, and fit for the role.

The Implications for Employers

For employers, ‘Ban the Box’ laws mean adjusting hiring processes and training your recruiters and HR teams accordingly. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines, lawsuits, and reputational damage. However, embracing these laws can also offer benefits, such as tapping into a wider talent pool and potentially discovering uniquely skilled individuals who might otherwise be overlooked due to their criminal background.

Adapting to ‘Ban the Box’ Laws: A Step-by-Step Guide for Employers

Compliance with ‘Ban the Box’ laws requires a strategic approach. Here are the key steps to consider:

  1. Update Your Application Process: Remove any questions about criminal history from initial job applications.
  2. Train Your Recruitment and Hiring Team: Ensure your team understands the laws and knows when it’s appropriate to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history.
  3. Develop a Consistent Policy: Create a consistent approach for considering criminal history that complies with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines.
  4. Stay Informed: Laws can change rapidly, so it’s important to stay updated on any legal changes in your area.

How Astrix Can Help

Our professional, informative approach, combined with our specialized services, proprietary data sets, and flexible solutions, positions us at the forefront of the life sciences staffing industry. We pride ourselves on our thorough screening processes, conducted by our knowledgeable recruiters, ensuring that every candidate is evaluated purely on their skills, qualifications, and potential.

The Value-Adds of Astrix Staffing’s Services

  • Compliance: We stay updated and adjust our recruitment process with the latest employment laws and regulations, ensuring that our clients remain compliant.
  • Thorough Screening: We conduct comprehensive screening processes, assessing candidates based on their skills and qualifications.
  • Reduced Legal Liability: By managing the application process, we help minimize the legal liability for employers, reducing the risk of non-compliance with ‘Ban the Box’ laws.
  • Inclusive Workforce: Our approach allows us to tap into a wider talent pool, potentially discovering uniquely skilled individuals who might otherwise be overlooked.

We are more than just a staffing agency; we’re a partner dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of the talent acquisition process. Whether you’re an employer seeking the best talent or a job seeker ready to make your next career move, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Astrix is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, where everyone is given a fair chance to succeed. We believe in taking the right steps towards achieving equity and diversity in our recruitment process, and we’re ready to help you do the same.


‘Ban the Box’ laws are reshaping hiring practices in favor of greater inclusivity and fairness. By understanding and adhering to these laws, employers can foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce while maintaining compliance and reducing legal risks.


  1. Nolo, What Is a Ban-the-Box Law?
  2. AccuSource, Ban the Box Laws by State and Jurisdiction
  3. National Conference of State Legislatures, Federal Ban the Box Policies
  4. SHRM, ‘Ban the Box’ Turns 20: What Employers Need to Know
  5. Paycor, Ban the Box Laws By State
  6. OneSource Background, Ban the Box Updates: What Employers Need to Know
  7. EEOC, Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964


The purpose of this information is solely to provide general knowledge and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel to ensure your specific workplace drug testing policies comply with the most current laws and regulations.


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