09 Mar Ban the box legislation passed in Maryland
As of February 29, 2020 ban the box legislation is now active in the state of Maryland.
The Maryland General Assembly overruled Governor Hogan’s veto from last year on “ban the box” legislation. For those who are not familiar, ban the box essentially says that an employer cannot ask about criminal background until an in-person interview. This is a little bit different than ban the box legislation in other states, which put the limit which is marked by making an offer of employment.
Employers who are going to be collecting applications from prospective employees cannot ask about criminal history. If you have an application with a criminal history question on it, you must eliminate that question.
Important note: this law does not apply to anyone that has direct services with children or vulnerable adults (which includes adults with learning disabilities, senior citizens, etc). Those employers are exempt from the ban the box regulation and can ask about criminal history right away.
The difficult thing about this legislation in Maryland is that it does not pre-empt currently existing local laws. Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, and Baltimore City already have laws in place that are more restrictive.
Employers should also be prepared for the federal ban the box law, coming in 2021.