Maryland Set to Enact 'Ban the Box' Law Affecting Employers in that State

On January 30, 2020 the Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the Criminal Records Screening Act. The Criminal Records Act is the state of Maryland’s version of ‘ban the box’ legislation.

This new law makes it unlawful for any employer in the State of Maryland with 15 or more employees to inquire into an applicant’s criminal history before the employer conducts its first in-person interview. The law takes effect on February 29, 2020. This new law does not preempt more restrictive ‘ban the box’ ordinances currently in effect in Montgomery and Prince George Counties and Baltimore City.

There are a few exceptions to this new law where the employer may inquire about criminal history at any time which include:

  • Another federal or state law requires or authorizes the employer to inquire into an applicant’s criminal history
  • The employer provides services or care to minors or vulnerable adults

As a recap for employers, ‘ban the box’ laws are meant to assist individuals with a criminal history in gaining employment. To do this, these laws prohibit employers from asking for criminal history on applications. Generally, they direct employers to wait until a first interview has been completed or a conditional offer of employment has been made, before inquiring about any criminal past.

‘Ban the box’ laws have become very popular with state legislators and municipalities in their efforts to provide better employment opportunities for individuals with a criminal history. As more states create their own versions, and with a federal government version set to take effect next year, all employers should be making sure their hiring policies are compliant with ‘ban the box’.

Visit IntelliCorp’s legislation page for more information about ‘ban the box’ and other laws that effect any employers who utilize background screening.

IntelliCorp also offers all the relevant and necessary forms organizations need to properly maintain a comprehensive and compliant background screening program.


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