On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, formerly incarcerated Mississippians attempting to find work testified at the Mississippi Capitol during a State Senate Labor Committee hearing in favor of a statewide Ban the Box law. Presently, the Committee is considering the merits of a Ban the Box law, which would prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s conviction history on job applications, or during the employment screening process until either the applicant is selected for an interview or after the employer makes a conditional employment offer.
Mississippi State Senator John Horhn, D-Jackson, the Committee chairperson, supports adopting a statewide Ban the Box law. On January 31, 2020, Senator Horhn introduced Mississippi Senate Bill 2233, which would enact statewide Ban the Box throughout Mississippi.
As presently drafted, the law exempts Department of Corrections positions, and other positions where the employer has a legal duty to inquire into an applicant’s conviction history.
With the third-highest incarceration rate in the country, Ban the Box is crucially necessary for Mississippi. The state joins several others also considering Ban the Box laws, including New Hampshire and Iowa. BantheBox.net will continue tracking this important legislative proposal as it works its way to becoming law.