Featured Image - City of St. Louis Missouri

City of St. Louis Missouri

Back to Ban the Box

The Basics

Location: City of St. Louis, MO
Legislation: Ordinance 71074
Type: Ban the Box
Effective: Jan. 1, 2021

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.

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:

  • 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;
  • Inquiring into a job applicants’ criminal history prior to determining the applicant is otherwise qualified for the job position and interviewed;
  • Publishing job advertisements excluding applicants on the basis of criminal history;
  • Including statements excluding applicants on the basis of criminal history in applications and employer generated forms;
  • Inquiring into, or requiring applicants to make disclosures regarding their criminal history on initial job application forms; and
  • 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.


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.

Contact Accurate Background

For more information regarding recent legislative changes in other states and jurisdictions, visit our Legislative Updates page.

*Please note: Accurate prepared these materials for informational purposes only. These materials are not intended to be comprehensive, and are not a substitute for, and should not be construed as, legal advice. Accurate does not warrant any statements in these materials. Employers should direct questions involving their organization’s compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply, to their own legal counsel.