Will Federal Push to “Ban the Box” Affect Debt Collection Hiring Practices?

It isn’t uncommon for clients to push debt collection agencies to disqualify job candidates for criminal histories. Agencies may not be able to deliver on that demand much longer. Many states have already adopted a “ban the box” policy, which prohibits employers from asking about criminal convictions in job applications. (Check out our recent and thorough coverage on the risk in criminal background checks right here.) Now it appears that the Feds are following suit.

President Obama appeared earlier this week in Newark, N.J. to announce a series of measures designed to help former criminals become productive and reenter society. In his comments, the President announced an executive order directing the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to delay inquiries into criminal history until later in the hiring process. What’s more, the President also called on Congress to follow recent state law and pass legislation designed to “ban the box” on job applications.

“We know that having millions of people in the criminal justice system, without any ability to find a job after release, is unsustainable,” President Obama said on Friday as part of his weekly address. “It’s bad for communities and it’s bad for our economy.”

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