Oregon Bans Criminal-Record Questions for Applicants

Oregon enacted a measure to “ban the box” by prohibiting employers from asking a job applicant about any criminal convictions on an employment application or before an initial interview.

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Beginning January 1, 2016, employers in Oregon will have to save their questions about candidates’ criminal records until the job interview.

Although Oregon’s new ban the box law (HB 3025) makes it illegal to use job applications or other pre-interview screening tools to eliminate candidates based on criminal records, the law allows employers to ask questions about criminal convictions during interviews, a time when the applicant can offer an explanation.

The law includes exemptions for employers who are subject to federal, state or local laws that require the consideration of an applicant’s criminal history, for example in law enforcement or a criminal justice agency, applications can ask about the applicant’s criminal background.

Statewide enactments of Ban the Box were made in Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The cities of Seattle, Washington; Buffalo, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Newark, New Jersey have all enacted some form of Ban the Box legislation as well.

Oregon Ban the Box Posting Requirement

GovDocs Compliance Research Counsel, Anne Jakala, Esq., said the law will require monitoring for a posting requirement.

“Other States and Cities with similar ban the box laws also have corresponding postings that employers must display. However, the Oregon legislation does not have an explicit requirement for posting a workplace notice. GovDocs will clarify with the State.” – Anne Jakala, Esq.

For more information on Ban the Box, check here.

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