Oregon Bans the Box
July 13, 2015
Oregon has officially banned the box for all employers, delaying the timing of pre-employment criminal background checks. On June 25, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed HB 3025 into law. Effective January 1, 2016, it will be illegal for an employer in the State of Oregon to require an applicant to disclose a criminal conviction on a job application or to require an applicant to disclose, prior to an initial interview, a criminal conviction. If no interview is conducted, it will be illegal to require an applicant to disclose, prior to making a conditional offer of employment, a criminal conviction.
The statute specifies that it does not make it illegal to perform a criminal background check or to consider conviction history in the hiring process. It does, however, defer an inquiry into criminal history until after the applicant has been interviewed or potentially offered the position.
Exempt from the statute are jobs that require a criminal inquiry pursuant to federal, state or local law, law enforcement jobs, positions in the criminal justice system, and nonemployee volunteer positions.
The law does not prevent municipalities from enacting their own ban the box ordinances, and some speculate that the City of Portland may push ahead with its own, stricter, version of the law that would ban all criminal history inquiries until after an offer has been made.
The full text of the statute can be found here.
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