Blog

 
     

Mississippi Un-Bans the Box

By Michael Klazema on 3/18/2014

“Ban the box” refers to eliminating the box on job applications that require applicants to disclose whether they have been charged with or convicted of a crime. Typically, ban-the-box legislation restricts employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until after the application process. Some ban-the-box laws further restrict criminal history inquiries from being made until after a conditional job offer is made. The new Mississippi law is the first we have seen that un-bans the box. 

Senate Bill 2689 prohibits all local governing authorities in the state from passing any law, ordinance, or rule that would interfere with an employer’s ability to become fully informed about the background of an employee or potential employee. It permits employers to conduct background checks of employees and applicants for the purposes of maintaining a fair, secure, safe, and productive workplace. The new law voids any law, ordinance, or rule that creates requirements, regulations, processes, or prohibitions that in any way interfere with employers’ rights granted under the bill.

Most of the ban-the-box laws regulate when employers can obtain background information, and what information they are permitted to use, as well as what additional information they must consider. The Mississippi law does not speak to what, when, or how employers may seek or use background information. It only grants employers to right to become fully aware of the background of an employee or applicant for the purpose of maintaining a fair, secure, safe, and productive workplace. Applicable federal law will still prevail over this state law. Therefore, to the extent that federal anti-discrimination laws would prohibit consideration of criminal history, those federal laws remain in effect in Mississippi.

There are currently 22 states with cities or counties that have adopted ban-the-box laws. Now there is one state with an un-ban the box law. We will continue to follow ban-the-box laws and report our findings to you. Visit the backgroundchecks.com Compliance Hub website to view past ban the box updates:http://www.backgroundbiz.com/compliance/regulatory-archive.html

The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2014, and is available here: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2014/pdf/SB/2600-2699/SB2689SG.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact client services.

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.
  • June 04 The organization, The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRCNMS) was founded on the belief that families are the heart of community and that promoting healthy families leads to healthy communities. Read more about how they carefully screen and vet new employees with the help of backgroundchecks.com.
  • June 01 Past mistakes can have lingering effects in criminal records that appear on background checks. People with minor convictions can erase those mistakes for help starting over. 
  • May 29 The city of Greenley, Colorado has added background checks and new affidavits to its process for screening candidates for city council. The new measures come after a candidate with a felony conviction for forgery got elected as city councilman.