A number of states, counties and cities are passing “Ban the Box” laws that prohibit employers from inquiring into criminal convictions on their applications for employment or at any time prior to a conditional job offer being made to the applicant.
As of January 1, 2015, the Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (a.k.a. “Ban the Box”) bars private employers with 15 or more employees from asking about, requiring disclosure of, or considering an applicant’s criminal history, until the employer has notified the applicant of his or her selection for an interview or until a conditional job offer has been made. Other states such as, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have enacted similar laws. Be mindful that certain counties and cities have done the same.