Ohio, Wisconsin join states that ‘ban the box’ on job applications

Two more Midwestern states have recently adopted “ban the box” laws, which are designed to improve the job prospects of individuals with criminal records. These laws require public employers to remove questions about an individual’s criminal history on job applications and during the initial screening process. Background check inquiries are delayed until later in the hiring process.<--break->Ohio’s new “ban the box” measure (HB 56) took effect in March, and Wisconsin’s AB 373 was signed into law in February as part of legislation that changed many of the state’s rules on civil service. According to the National Employment Law Project, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska already have ban-the-box laws in place. The statutes in Illinois and Minnesota also apply to private employers.

More states, too, have been passing “second chance” laws that seek to eliminate other employment barriers. These laws, for example, make it easier for individuals to expunge their criminal records. Recent examples in the Midwest include laws enacted in Illinois (HB 3010 in 2013), Indiana (HB 1482 in 2013), Michigan (HB 4186 in 2015), Minnesota (HF 2576 in 2014) and Ohio (SB 337 in 2012).


Stateline Midwest: March 20162.45 MB