You Can't Ask That Question: DC "Bans the Box" in Recruitment and Hiring

You Can't Ask That Question: DC "Bans the Box" in Recruitment and Hiring

HR By: Douglas B. Mishkin and Sandi Pessin Boyd

So-called ban-the-box laws strictly limit what employers may ask job applicants about past arrests. The District of Columbia is the latest jurisdiction to adopt such a measure, so DC-based associations will need to modify their recruitment and hiring procedures to ensure they comply.

The District of Columbia is about to join 13 states and numerous local jurisdictions in "banning the box," prohibiting employers—nonprofit and otherwise—from asking job applicants to check a box indicating whether they have ever been arrested. Beginning soon, nonprofits with employees in Washington, DC, that ask an applicant questions about his or her criminal history early in the hiring process, or that use criminal history to eliminate an applicant from the employment pool, will be subject to a fine by the DC Commission on Human Rights. ...