Arizona Joins the National Ban-the-Box Movement

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey just recently signed an executive order banning the question of criminal history on state employment applications thus joining many of States and Municipalities that already have enacted ban-the-box related laws.  This trend of legislative action regarding the use of criminal background records as part of pre-employment background screening has been spreading across the county.  The goal of such litigation is to help individuals in the USA that have a criminal record have a better chance of getting employed.

Typically ban-the-box laws prohibit employers from inquiring about criminal history on their job applications, thus banning the question of criminal history from the job application.  At some point, usually after a conditional offer of employment is made the employer can then perform a criminal background check.

This new legislation signed by the Governor of Arizona highlights an urgent need for all hiring managers and human resource personnel to work with a professional employment screening agency to ensure compliance with existing laws as well as new potential laws.

When Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order banning the box on state applications the state joined dozens of other states and municipalities in delaying when the question of criminal history can be asked as part of the pre-employment background screening process and signals to Arizona business, as well as businesses across the country, that now is the time to review any existing pre-employment background screening policies to ensure full compliance with existing and potential law.

Ban the box moves when the question of criminal history can be asked.  It goes 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.

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).

Ban the box policy is designed to assist formerly incarcerated individuals gain a more equal footing during the application process.

If the question of Criminal History is delayed in theory the application process should become more equal.  Studies have shown that many applications that have the box checked regarding criminal history are often ignored or discarded, thus creating an inequitable hiring situation for formerly incarcerated individuals or those with criminal records that did not result in imprisonment.

It is critical that businesses and organizations ensure their hiring policies are current with existing law and the action by Arizona is a clear indication that these policies should be reviewed by a third-party background screening company as changes in laws governing the use of criminal background records in pre-employment background screening effects all businesses and organizations hiring policies and procedures.

To read more about Arizona’s new ban-the-box bill and how the trend to help previously incarcerated individuals and those with criminal records get a job and how this strategy is aimed at leveling the playing field for job applicants read recent press release:

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