West Virginia could become the next state to Ban the Box and prohibit inquiries into applicant criminal history on initial job applications for public jobs. On Friday, February 21, 2020, the West Virginia House of Delegates Committee on the Judiciary passed a Ban the Box bill, House Bill 4905, that now heads to the full West Virginia house for a vote.
Like similar Ban the Box laws, West Virginia’s proposed Ban the Box law exempts positions with law enforcement agencies, community safety and civil safety jobs, and positions involving direct contact with minors or seniors.
Notably, the bill, introduced by Delegate Sammi Brown, contains a right to waive Ban the Box rights.
“[It’s] not to create a veil, not to be dishonest in their application, but instead to be judged by their qualifications and what they can bring,” Delegate Brown said Friday, “What we’re after here is, again, trying to get people back into the workforce.”
West Virginia joins several other states, including Idaho, New Hampshire, Mississippi, and Maryland, presently considering statewide Ban the Box laws.