News & Resources

Proposed bill aims to limit criminal history information

Aug 09, 2012 Quinn Thomas

U.S. Representative Hansen Clarke (D-Mich) has put forth a piece of legislation which would outlaw employers from asking about a job applicant's past criminal history during the hiring process, only allowing them to do so after an offer employment has been extended. Security Managment reports that the bill, titled "Ban the Box," would require businesses to remove the box that applicants check if they have a criminal record. Proponents of the potential law state hiring managers would only be able to conduct a background check of an individual if any criminal activity would pose a threat to the job's responsibilities or the company and its employees. However, there are many who are opposed to the bill, stating it would increase the risk factors of hiring applicants with a criminal history. Those against the legislation say that businesses, such as short term lenders, can be especially put at risk if any past illegal activity is not revealed during the hiring process, states the Society for Human Resource Management. Some say employers can be put in dangerous situations, potentially compromising valuable information of the company and its staff if a screening is not conducted.