Ban the Box Laws

State Ban the Box laws attempt to stop employment discrimination by preventing an employer from asking about a potential employee’s criminal history until after fairly considering the applicant’s relevant qualifications. These laws vary greatly in who they apply to, and their enforcement mechanisms.

This dataset identifies whether a state-level Ban the Box law exists; whether it applies to private or public employers; the type of employers that are exempted; the point in the hiring process at which employers may consider an applicant’s criminal history, along with the penalties for violating those regulations. This dataset presents statutes, regulations, and executive orders that regulate Ban the Box policies in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, as of January 1, 2021.

This publication was created as part of the Promoting Health and Cost Control in States (PHACCS) Initiative in collaboration with Trust for America’s Health and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Visit Trust for America’s Health to learn more about the PHACCS project, and explore additional PHACCS project datasets here.

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