Ban the Box Movement Comes to Nashville, TN

If you are hiring in Nashville, TN, it’s important that you take note of this important update.  As of November 13, 2015 the city of Nashville, TN has adopted Ban the Box legislation and removed the check box on job applications for employment with the city and county.  This update means that city and county employers can no longer ask about past criminal convictions on their  job applications. 

Nashville joins about 100 cities along with 16 states that have removed these questions from job applications.  The idea behind the Ban the Box movement is to give all applicants a fair opportunity to be considered for employment, and not risk being eliminated from contention simply because they admitted up front to having a criminal past.

The group that advocated for this action indicated their support for background checks, and feel that a prospective employee should still have to disclose their criminal past but that this should happen later in the interview process. The movement promotes fairness for all applicants, noting the the importance of honesty and being forthcoming is still expected.

The reason so many cities and states have adopted Ban the Box legislation is to give people an opportunity for a second chance.  Unfortunately, for many employers, they simply shut the door to any further conversation once they see that box on an application has been marked.  The feeling is that this reduces barriers to employment for those people with a criminal past, and gives them the chance to interview and share their experience and other intangibles, and not solely be dismissed because of what they have done. 

The Ban the Box movement does not remove the necessity of a background check, nor does it allow for an applicant to try and and hide their criminal history.  This information will be discovered via a proper background check, but it is important to use it in conjunction with other information gathered and not simply dismiss an applicant because of their past.