The North Carolina House of Representatives recently voted 98-14 to “ban the box” for state agency hiring.  The bill would not apply to private employers or to state positions that “involve direct interaction with minors or the elderly.”  

House Bill 409 would prevent state agencies from inquiring into an employment applicant’s criminal history at the initial application stage and until the person has obtained a job interview.  The bill also requires state agencies to consider other factors in the hiring process regarding any identified criminal record, including the passage of time since the conviction, the applicant’s age at the time of conviction, and the relationship of the conviction (if any) to the employment position sought.  The bill now goes to the North Carolina Senate for consideration. 

This ordinance is consistent with recent increases in legislative scrutiny of employment application practices, with many states and localities having enacted similar legislation focusing on an applicant’s criminal history at the initial application stage.  Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor related legislative developments concerning employment background screening and employee hiring.