Legislative Update: Office of Personnel Management, Federal “Ban-the-Box”

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) finalized its version of Ban-the-Box on December 1, 2016, thereby prohibiting federal agencies from inquiring about criminal histories of job applicants until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended to an applicant. This follows on the directive of the Presidential Memorandum issued in April 2016 declaring that the hiring practices within the federal government must be altered to promote the, “rehabilitation and reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.” The goal of this change is to provide equal opportunities to compete for employment in the federal government to all job applicants with suitable skill sets and qualifications, including those individuals with a past criminal history. Again, criminal history inquiries and background checks may still be conducted during the hiring practices but only occurring after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

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