The City of St. Louis, Missouri Passes “Ban the Box” Ordinance

May 8, 2020 Accurate Background

The City of St. Louis Missouri unanimously passed “ban the box” legislation prohibiting employers in the City of St. Louis, Missouri from basing job hiring and promotion decisions on applicants’ criminal histories unless the employer can demonstrate its relevance to the job-related decision.

 

The Basics

Location: City of St. Louis, MO

Legislation: Ordinance 71074

Type: Ban the Box

Effective: January 1, 2021

 

Key Takeaways

  • Restricts private employers in their ability to base hiring and promotion decisions on an applicants’ criminal history.
  • Impacted employers who violate the Ordinance could lose their business license.
  • Employers must wait to inquire until after it has been determined the applicant is otherwise qualified and interviewed for the position.

 

Who is impacted by this Ordinance?

This ordinance applies to employers located in the City of St. Louis with ten or more employees.

What is prohibited?

The ordinance prohibits:

1) Basing a hiring or promotional decision on an applicant’s criminal history or sentence, unless the employer can demonstrate that the employment-related decision is based on all information available including the frequency, recentness, and severity of the criminal history and the history is reasonably related to or bears upon the duties and responsibilities of the job position;

2) Inquiring into a job applicants’ criminal history prior to determining the applicant is otherwise qualified for the job position and interviewed;

3) Publishing job advertisements excluding applicants on the basis of criminal history;

4) Including statements excluding applicants on the basis of criminal history in applications and employer generated forms;

5) Inquiring into, or requiring applicants to make disclosures regarding their criminal history on initial job application forms; and

6) Seeking to obtain publicly available information concerning job applicants’ criminal history.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, certain provisions of this ordinance do not apply to job positions where federal or state law and regulations, or City ordinance prohibits employers from employing individuals with certain criminal histories.

Are there any penalties?

If an employer is found in violation, penalties may consist of warnings, orders of compliance and civil penalties for initial violations with potential revocation of your business operating license for subsequent violations. In addition, anyone aggrieved by a violation of the Ordinance may submit a complaint to the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, who will investigate the claim.

Recommendations

You may read additional details of this Ordinance as published by Seyfarth Shaw here.  We also recommend you review and discuss with your legal counsel your organization’s policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the changing laws and regulations. 

 

Please note:  The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes.  It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied.  Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations.

 

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