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Ban the Box: What It Means for Your IT Hiring Practices

“Ban the Box” is a movement that is sweeping the nation. This new practice has taken away the questions on employment applications that inquire about criminal convictions. Nineteen states and over 100 cities and counties have taken on board this mindset. In an article for InformationWeek, Paul Korzeniowski explains on what this means for you and your IT hiring practices.

Real Equal-Opportunity Employment

Most employment applications contain a small box that potential candidates use to indicate whether they have a criminal background. This practice is being phased out, and any company that does this could be facing fines upwards of millions of dollars in certain places. This entire movement began because it was believed that this portion of the application created a bias and went against the idea of America as “the land of the second chance.” The problem with the box is that it does not allow for people to differentiate what type of crime they committed.

This movement does not take away a company’s right to ever ask about criminal history during the IT hiring process; it merely is not allowed on the application. However, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) believes that this movement is creating unnecessary business expenses, because there are already laws in place that protect against biases. There is also debate around these laws because Ban the Box is often contradictory of itself.

Employers are required to provide their employees with a safe work environment. Ban the Box may threaten to increase the amount of workplace violence and cause conditions to become unsafe.

Endorsing these laws are slowly evolving because this is a relatively new thing; however, the US Equal Opportunity Commission is becoming increasingly involved in this issue. In 2012, Pepsi Beverages paid $3.13 million in fines. The EEOC found reason to believe Pepsi had been discriminating against African American workers because of the criminal box.

Companies need to take extra precautions going into the future that they are not making themselves vulnerable to a potential lawsuit. You can read the original article here: http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/team-building-and-staffing/ban-the-box-what-it-means-for-your-it-hiring-practices/d/d-id/1324033

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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