City of Baltimore Approves Ban the Box Ordinance

By Michael Klazema on 5/9/2014

According to Baltimore’s new ordinance, a conditional offer of employment must be extended before an employer:

  1. Requires an applicant to disclose or reveal whether he or she has a criminal record or otherwise has had criminal accusations brought against him or her;
  2. Conducts a criminal-record check on the applicant; or
  3. Otherwise makes any inquiry of the applicant or others about whether the applicant has a criminal record or otherwise has had criminal accusations brought against her or him.

The ordinance also applies to employers that hire through the services of a temporary or other employment agency, and for contractual, temporary, seasonal, or contingent work.

Violations of the ordinance could result in a misdemeanor conviction and a fine of no more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both fine and imprisonment for each offense. Also, if a person believes an employer has violated the ordinance, he or she may file a complaint with the Baltimore Community Relations Commission. The Commission may award an aggrieved person back pay for lost wages caused by the violation, reinstatement, compensatory damages, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

You may view Baltimore’s Council Bill 13-0301 here:

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