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June 28, 2018

Ban‐The‐Box Laws Have Expanded in Washington State 

Washington State and the City of Spokane have joined a growing number of jurisdictions that have passed so‐called "ban‐the‐box" laws.

Both laws limit when employers can inquire into and consider the criminal history of a job applicant and will go into effect in June 2018.

Washington State Bans the Box

Who does this affect?

The law applies to employers including public agencies, private individuals, businesses and corporations, contractors, training and apprenticeship programs, and temporary staffing, job placement, referral, and employment agencies.

What is prohibited in the law?

Employers may not:

  • Advertise employment openings in a way that excludes people with criminal records from applying;
  • Obtain information about an applicant’s criminal record until after the employer initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position, meaning the applicant meets the basic criteria for the position as set out in the advertisement or job description without consideration of a criminal record; or
  • Implement any policy or practice that excludes individuals with a criminal record, including failure to disclose such record, from consideration prior to an initial determination that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position.