BizLaw 101 Blog

Montgomery County “Bans the Box”

Posted February 16, 2015 by Jamie Kent Hamelburg in BizLaw 101 Blog, Business Publications

There is a new law in Montgomery County that affects the employment practices of many businesses.  Effective January 1, 2015, employers in Montgomery County may not inquire about arrests, accusations of crime, or criminal convictions in the job application process until after the first interview. 

The “box” is that place on many employment application forms that asks whether the applicant has been arrested or convicted of a crime.  Montgomery County has decided to join a growing list of jurisdictions that removes that question from the job application and the initial stages of employment so that employers focus, first, on the candidate’s experience and skills, and only later on an applicant’s criminal background.  The reasoning behind the Ban the Box legislation is to reintegrate people with criminal records into the workforce and ensure that employers screen applicants based on their work qualifications. 

The law applies to Montgomery County and all private employers doing business in the County that employ 15 or more full-time employees. Exceptions are made to the federal and state government, Montgomery County’s police, fire and rescue services and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  Other exempt employers include those that provide programs or services to vulnerable adults or minors and employers who require a federal security clearance. 

More information about the new Ban the Box law is available here.

Jamie Kent Hamelburg is a real estate and business attorney at Press, Dozier & Hamelburg. She can be contacted at (301) 913-5200 or by email at Press, Dozier & Hamelburg partners with businesses to achieve their goals, and represents families and individuals, often when they are most vulnerable. Our attorneys deliver valuable insight and counsel in the areas of business law, employment law, litigation, commercial real estate, estate planning and administration, and business succession planning. We provide all of our clients with personal service, emphasizing responsiveness, sensitivity, and respect. We are located in Bethesda and serve Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. 


Note: The content in this Blog is for informational purposes only and should not be acted upon without first consulting legal counsel. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.