Newspaper’s Hiring of a Convicted Sex Offender Raises Questions About Ban the Box Compliance

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Newspaper’s Hiring of a Convicted Sex Offender Raises Questions About Ban the Box Compliance

A newspaper in New Mexico hired a convicted sex offender to report on local schools. When it was reported that the employee was on the sex offender registry, the paper stated that he had failed to self-disclose that information. The employer then pointed to New Mexico’s recent passing of ban the box regulations to explain why they didn’t run a background check during the employment process. These laws, which have been enacted in over 35 states and 150 cities and counties, mandate that employers do not require candidates to self-disclose their criminal history during the initial job application.

Does this mean that background checks cannot be ran in states, cities or counties that have passed ban the box regulations? No. The best practice is to wait to ask about criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The candidate can then have an opportunity to self-disclose their criminal history and a background check can be conducted at that time. Additionally, employers may want to confer with legal counsel prior to making changes to their screening policies since misinterpreting the law can result in cases such as this.

Please contact CRC if you have any questions about Ban the Box and how it affects your organization!


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