List of States and Municipalities With Ban The Box Laws

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What are Ban The Box Laws?

A recent wave of state and municipal laws aimed at removing the checkbox on job applications that asks if an applicant has a criminal history, Ban the Box legislation prevents employers from automatically disqualifying potential candidates who may have a criminal record. The purpose of the legislation is to allow ex-offenders the opportunity to display their qualifications during the hiring process before being preemptively barred from certain jobs due to their criminal history.

34 states and over 150 cities nationwide have passed some form of Ban the Box or “fair-chance” legislation.

 Over 75% of the US population lives in an area with Ban the Box legislation.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

See the table below for more information on state and city ban the box laws.

StateMajor MunicipalitiesWho is affectedNotes
ArizonaAll state agenciesCriminal record checks allowed only after initial interview
CaliforniaEmployers with five or more employeesStarting January 1, 2018, criminal background inquiries are prohibited until after a conditional job offer
ComptonAll contractors doing business with the cityBackground check allowed only after conditional job offer
Los AngelesAny employer in the city with 10 or more employeesEffective January 22, 2017, criminal history questions are allowed only after a conditional job offer
RichmondPrivate employers with 10 or more employees that contract with cityApplies regardless of where the employer is based
San FranciscoEffective October 1, 2018, applies to employers with 5 or more employees (replaces prior threshold of 20 or more)Bans criminal inquiries, or requiring disclosure of conviction history, until a conditional job offer has been made
ConnecticutAll private employers
HartfordAny contractors doing business with the cityBackground checks allowed only after a conditional employment offer
New HavenAny contractors doing business with the cityBackground checks allowed only after a conditional employment offer
District of ColumbiaAll employers with more than 10 employeesBackground checks allowed only after a conditional employment offer
HawaiiAll private employersCriminal history inquiries not allowed prior to a conditional employment offer
IllinoisPrivate employers with 15 or more employeesNo criminal history inquiries prior to job interview, or until after conditional job offer if no interview occurs
ChicagoPrivate employers with less than 15 employeesBans criminal history questions prior to job interview, or until after conditional job offer if no interview occurs
Cook CountyPrivate employers with less than 15 employeesMirrors Chicago's criminal history ordinance
Indiana
IndianapolisAny contractors doing business with the cityCriminal history questions not allowed until after first interview
Kentucky
LouisvilleAny contractors doing business with the cityCity prefers vendors that ban the box on job applications and may terminate contracts with those that do not
Maryland
BaltimoreAny employer with 10 or more employeesCriminal records checks or inquiries not allowed until after a conditional job offer has been made
Montgomery CountyAny employer employing 15 or more persons in the countyCriminal history questions or background checks not permitted until after first interview
Prince George's CountyAny employer with 25 or more full-time employees in the countyCriminal history questions or background checks not permitted until after first interview
MassachusettsAll private employers
BostonAny contractors/vendors doing business with the city
CambridgeAny contractors/vendors doing business with the city
WorcesterContractors/vendors doing business with the city
Michigan
DetroitAny contractors doing business with the city when contract is for $25,000 or moreNo criminal conviction questions until contractor interviews applicant or determines applicant is qualified
KalamazooContractors providing services to the city for more than $25,000 or those seeking tax abatementMust show commitment that they don't use criminal history to discriminate in employment
MinnesotaAll private employers
Missouri
ColumbiaAll employers within city limitsCriminal history questions prohibited until after a conditional job offer is made
Kansas CityAll private employers with six or more employeesNo criminal history inquiries until after job interview
New JerseyAny employer with 15 or more employees over 20 calendar weeksIncludes provision preempting local laws, most notably this supersedes a Newark law which applied to employers with five or more employees
New York
BuffaloPrivate employers with 15 or more employees and all contractors doing business with the cityCriminal history questions banned on initial job applications
New York CityAll employers with four or more employeesCriminal inquiries prior to conditional job offer are prohibited
RochesterAll employers with four or more employees and contractors doing business with cityCriminal history inquiries prohibited until after initial job interview or conditional job offer
SyracuseAll city contractorsCriminal inquiries prior to conditional job offer are prohibited
OregonAll private employers
PortlandAny employers with six or more employeesAsking about or accessing criminal records before conditional job offer is prohibited
Pennsylvania
PhiladelphiaEmployers with at least one employee in the cityCriminal background checks prohibited prior to conditional job offer
PittsburghAny contractors/vendors doing business with the cityCriminal history inquiries banned until applicant is deemed otherwise qualified for a position
Rhode IslandAll employers with four or more employees
TennesseeLaw prohibits cities and counties from extending state ban the box law to private employers
Texas
AustinAll employers with 15 or more employeesCriminal history questions or criminal background checks banned until conditional job offer has been made
VermontAll private employers
WashingtonAll private employersNo arrest or conviction questions (or criminal background checks) before job applicant is deemed otherwise qualified for a position
SeattleEmployers with one or more employees"Legitimate business reason" required to automatically exclude applicants with arrest or conviction record
SpokaneAll private employersNo criminal history questions prior to a job interview
Wisconsin
MadisonAll contractors doing business with the city on contracts worth more than $25,000 Criminal history questions and background checks prohibited until after conditional job offer
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