Does Ban The Box prevent employers from doing background checks?

No. Instead, Ban-the-Box laws generally regulate when employers can ask applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime. In jurisdictions with Ban-the-Box laws, employers are often required to hold off on asking any questions about an applicant’s criminal history (if any), until an offer of employment has been presented to the applicant.  The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) – a federal agency responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, and other categories – supports Ban-the-Box legislation.  EEOC guidelines also allow employers to investigate an applicant’s criminal history as long as they consider:

  • The type and severity of the offense
  • The age of the convictions and/ or completion of the sentence
  • The nature of the job the applicant is being considered for