Ban the Box
Policy and Compliance Updates for the State of Georgia HR Community
On Monday, February 23, 2015, Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order providing for a "Ban the Box" hiring policy, effective immediately. For most applicants, "Ban the Box" removes the requirement to disclose felony convictions on the state employment application. Rather than soliciting this information at the time of application, state entities will now delay discussion of criminal history until later in the selection process. Such delay will better allow qualified applicants to be considered initially and provide an opportunity to explain their unique circumstances, such as inaccuracies, relevance of the criminal record to the prospective job, and rehabilitation efforts.
The executive order provides an exception for sensitive governmental positions for which a criminal history would be an immediate disqualification. Therefore, the state will continue to require initial disclosure of felony convictions on applications for such sensitive governmental jobs. Agencies will define which of their jobs are sensitive governmental jobs.
To comply with the executive order and assist agencies with hiring for sensitive governmental positions, the state's Applicant Tracking System has been updated. It will no longer automatically ask applicants to disclose felony convictions. Instead, recruiters will have the capability to add a felony conviction question when creating job requisitions for sensitive governmental jobs.
For agencies not yet using the Applicant Tracking System for all competitively bid jobs, the state will now have two employment application forms to comply with "Ban the Box." The Standard Application for Employment will not ask for information on felony convictions. The Sensitive Position Application for Employment will ask for felony conviction information and is to be used only for sensitive governmental positions. Agencies will need to select the appropriate form with each recruitment.
To further ensure compliance with "Ban the Box," it is important for agencies that have combined the Security Questionnaire and Loyalty Oath to manage the timing for administering the form. Applicants are not to be asked to complete these questions until a point in the hiring process in which an individualized assessment can be done. Typically, such assessment can be done at the time of interview or thereafter.
The "Ban the Box" initiative is intended to increase workforce development and to prevent discrimination of qualified applicants with criminal convictions on record. View the attached executive order in its entirety.