Like other states, Missouri has a few restrictions, regulations, and limitations that apply to background checks and the use of criminal history information. Employers should be aware of these restrictions before ordering a Missouri background check. Below, we have outlined some of the most significant laws and regulations that might impact the use of background checks for employment purposes.
Ban the Box
Missouri has a state law that bans the box for all state government departments. There is no law at the state level that prevents private employers from asking candidates about criminal history. However, there are a few policies in local jurisdictions that impact private employers.
Kansas City and Columbia bar all employers private and public from inquiring about criminal history on job applications or in interviews. The ordinances in these cities also require employees to delay background checks until after conditional employment offers have been made. St. Louis and Jackson County also have ban the box legislation on the books, but it only applies to public employers currently.
There is no law in Missouri that restricts employers from asking about, looking at, or considering arrest records. So long as these records have not been expunged, employers throughout the state have the legal liberty to consider them in employment decisions. However, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights has issued guidance on this matter and encouraged employers to ignore arrest records unless they have a substantial relation to the job at hand. In fact, the Commission on Human Rights would rather employers avoid any questions about arrests before employment.
To avoid any clashes with the Commission, employers might consider disregarding any arrests that did not lead to conviction. To protect employers from civil rights claims or accusations of discrimination, this Missouri state background check will exclude arrest information.
There is no Missouri law that restricts the right of an employer to require candidates to disclose criminal history information or submit to background checks. Employers can use any criminal history details they find if the records in question have not been legally expunged. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights has issued guidance on this subject urging employers to consider only convictions that relate to the job at hand.