New Baltimore “Ban-the-Box” Ordinance Applies to Private Employers

Effective on August 13, 2014 employers with 10 or more full-time equivalent employees in the City of Baltimore will be prohibited from asking job seekers about their criminal record history until a conditional employment offer has been extended. Employers cannot inquire about an applicant’s criminal history on a job application, verbally ask applicants about criminal histories or conduct a criminal background check until after a conditional job offer.

The Ordinance does have two exemptions: (1) where the inquiry is specifically authorized by another law; or (2) for facilities servicing minors or vulnerable adults.

The ordinance does not ban background checks but restricts when an employer can inquire into an applicant’s criminal history.

Take Away: Employers with employees in Baltimore should carefully review their employment policies, procedures and forms to ensure that they are in compliance with the requirements of this ordinance.


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