Two major retailers fined for violations of “Ban the Box” law

According to The Buffalo News, Big Lots and Marshalls have agreed to pay a combined $195K in fines for violating Buffalo’s “Ban the Box” ordinance by including criminal history inquiries on their job applications at their Buffalo stores.

The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claimed that both of the national chain stores used standard applications for all of their stores in the area.

As part of the settlement, the two chains have agreed to remove the criminal history inquiries from their applications in not only their Buffalo locations, but also from the applications the companies use throughout the entire state of New York.

Big Lots and Marshalls will pay $100,000 and $95,000 in fines respectively.

“Ban the Box” laws—such as the one in Buffalo and the hundreds of others in cities and counties throughout the country—prohibit employers from inquiring into the criminal history of applications on initial employment applications in hopes of eliminating barriers to employment, such as automatic disqualification from further consideration, for those who have past criminal convictions.

“Obtaining meaningful employment is often the most crucial step towards reducing the chances of recidivism among formerly incarcerated persons,” said Attorney General Schneiderman in a press release.  “That is why my office is committed to breaking down barriers that impede rehabilitation, especially those that prevent fair access to employment.”

The full text of that press release can be found here.

For a comprehensive list of states, cities and counties that have enacted their own version of “Ban the Box” laws, you can visit the Resource Center of our website and see our Compliance Issue Analysis titled "Ban the Box."

Source: The Buffalo News, 1/20/2016

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