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Beginning December 2021, a new federal law – the Fair Chance Act – will prohibit federal contractors nationwide from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal history during the initial stages of the application process. The new restrictions will only apply to positions related to work under the federal contract that subjects the contractor to the Fair Chance Act. The Act was signed into law by President Trump in December of 2019 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Hiring executives confronting the checkerboard of state and local regulations on background screening can follow practitioner-tested conventions to dodge problems and improve outcomes.
“Ban the Box” is a fast-growing nationwide movement that seeks to protect job applicants who have criminal records by eliminating any inquiry into such histories on initial job applications. As of 2019, 35 states and more than 150 cities and counties had adopted ban-the-box laws, according to the National Employment Law Project.