On Thursday, January 30, 2020, the Maryland House and Senate voted to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a statewide Ban the Box ban. Under Maryland’s new Ban the Box Law, employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from asking applicants about their conviction history on initial job applications.
The veto override generated lively debate within the legislature, with Republicans arguing that Ban the Box impedes business in Maryland. State Delegate Haven Shoemaker Jr., a Republican, ranted, “When is the Maryland General Assembly going to stop coddling criminals?”
Democrats, led by State Senator Jill P. Carter, presented a cogent argument in favor of Ban the Box, “It’s good for Maryland’s economy. It’s good for public safety. It’s a common-sense bill.”
State Senator Carter’s statements are supported by findings in a recent study that show Ban the Box laws increase employment for residents in underserved communities by 4% and statements from a Ban the Box stakeholder relating to the law’s positive effects for people.
Maryland joins 13 other states and the District of Columbia with Ban the Box laws designed to protect applicants with conviction histories seeking employment.