As part of the "Ban the Box Act," a recent House Bill would prohibit employers from asking applicants about criminal convictions unless (1) a conditional offer of employment has been made or (2) granting employment could pose unreasonable safety risks. Under the Bill, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would be required to issue rules and guidelines defining the employment categories in which an individual's criminal history could pose such a safety risk and the factors to consider in deciding whether criminal history poses an unreasonable risk. The goal of the Bill is to curtail recidivism: those with convictions who cannot find jobs are more likely to commit additional crimes, according to the Bill's sponsor. Regardless of whether the Bill passes, employers should exercise care and good judgment when asking applicants about their criminal history.
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Federal "Ban the Box Act" seeks to outlaw questions about criminal convictions prior to a conditional job offer
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