Baltimore Ban the Box Update - May 20th, 2015

On May 15, 2014, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed legislation to ban the box for private employers. This legislation prohibits certain employers from conducting a criminal background check or otherwise inquiring into an applicant’s criminal record until a conditional offer of employment has been made. The ordinance affects all employers that employ 10 or more employees in the city of Baltimore and includes vocational and educational training, contractual, temporary, seasonal or contingent work as well as work through the services of a temporary or other employment agency. The ordinance does not affect employers who are required or authorized by a applicable law to request this information or to employers that provide direct care or services to minors or vulnerable adults. Complaints can be filed with the Baltimore Community Relations Commission who can award back pay, reinstatement, attorney’s fees and compensation for humiliation, embarrassment and emotional distress. In addition a violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor with fines up to $500.00 and or imprisonment for up to 90 days. The ordinance is effective on August 13, 2014.