As the Iowa Ban the Box battle continues, some Iowa lawmakers are exploring a statewide prohibition on Ban the Box laws. Senate Study Bill 3034, currently before the Iowa State Senate Judiciary Committee, would bar the state as well as cities, counties, and other local governments from adopting Ban the Box laws or policies.
“I don’t believe that government should be telling businesses that they can’t have that information,” said Iowa Representative Steve Holt, Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, regarding the Ban the Box ban. Notably, Mr. Holt’s statement belies the fact that Ban the Box laws permit businesses to discover an applicant’s conviction history. Instead of mandating an outright prohibition from discovering conviction history, Ban the Box delays disclosure of conviction history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Regrettably, the lawmaker has not corrected his serious distortions.
This development comes on the heels of a contentious legal challenge to the City of Waterloo’s recently enacted Ban the Box law.