Law by Law, Fair Employment

Equal opportunity employment is a moral imperative, and a sound investment in our future. As mentioned earlier, Ban the Box, wherein the felony checkbox is excluded from job applications, is a start, but by no means adequate. In a terrible irony, things have gotten worse for minority applicants, as explained in this report.

"Employers who banned the box didn’t automatically cast their preconceived biases at the door — they just implemented them in other ways. Instead of discriminating against those who had a record, they started discriminating against entire minority populations based on the spelling of the applicant’s name."

This does not cast aspersions on Ban the Box, but rather, on us, for we are a country of entrenched racists. I know people who routinely apply for jobs under an alias just to get a foot in the door. It's a sad situation.

In any case, the small step of banning the box for government jobs is indicated by pink, just one step above red. Obama led the charge at the federal level. Some states go further, to include certain private employers. These are indicated in blue. Data provided by To be green, a state would have to treat criminal history as private, like HIPAA, (except in matters of child care or national security), and at present, nobody does.


map of states with fair employment for felons

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Please send along any corrections or new information. I am not always up to date on all the laws in all 50 states.

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