If you’re not familiar with “Ban the Box” legislation, you’re not alone — but it’s an important legal trend for business leaders to understand. Most states have some law that prohibits businesses from asking job applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime. (Hence, the campaign to ban the checkbox that asks people if they’ve ever been convicted.) That doesn’t mean you can’t ask a candidate about convictions, but it does mean that you can’t do it until the offer stage.
Blanket rejection of convicted felons is against the law. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidelines for when you can reject someone based on a felony conviction. The guidelines are complex, but the main gist is that the conviction needs to be related to the specific position in order to reject someone. So, you can reject an accountant applicant who was convicted of embezzling, but you likely can’t reject the same person for a field service role if the role doesn’t involve handling cash.
But there are many reasons, legal or otherwise, to consider every qualified candidate you can find.
To keep reading, click here: Don’t Be So Quick to Dismiss a Candidate With a Criminal Record