On October 18, 2021, Maine will become the 14th state to implement a Ban-the-Box law.
The Ban-the-Box law prohibits employers from asking if a candidate has been convicted of a crime on an initial job application form or stating on a job application form or advertisement that a person with a criminal history may not apply or will not be considered for a position.
There are three exceptions for inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history — when a federal or state law, regulation, or rule:
- Mandates that a criminal conviction disqualifies an applicant from a position;
- Imposes an obligation on an employer not to hire an applicant who has been convicted of a particular type of offense; and
- Requires that an employer conduct a criminal history record check.
Employers that violate Maine’s new Ban-the-Box law may be subject to a penalty of $100 – $500 for each violation.
As with other states that have adopted this law, criminal history is not completely dismissed from the hiring decision. During the interview process, or once an employer has chosen to move forward with a candidate, deeming them qualified for the position, the employer may inquire into an individual’s criminal history records.
Employers Next Steps
- Employers should review their onboarding documents such as Applications and Interview Questionnaires, to exclude any verbiage asking whether an applicant has any arrests or criminal charges.
- If you are a Full-Service or Virtual HR client and would like our assistance with updating your policy, please email us.
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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.