WE WON -
BAN THE BOX HAS PASSED!
RI has now become the 10th state to pass Ban the Box legislation! Governor Lincoln Chaffee signed the bill on July 15th, 2013, and the law goes into effect on January 1st, 2014.
This law will make it possible for thousands of job seekers, who have records, to get their foot in the door by removing the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” from job applications and postponing this question until later in the hiring process!
But this new law doesn’t just remove a question off of a piece of paper. What we did sends a new signal to our state and those with records who are trying to make an honest living: that we are more than a record, that we all have the right to feed our families, and that we have a great deal to offer our communities. And this could not have happened without your hard work!
WHAT'S IN THE NEW LAW?
Starting on January 1st, 2014, it will be illegal for employers, public or private, to ask about applicants' criminal history on job applications either verbally or in writing.
Employers must wait until at least the first interview to ask about prior convictions.
The new law does not override existing laws that block people with specific convictions from specific jobs, for example, those barring people convicted of crimes against children from childcare.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE "THE BOX" ON A JOB APPLICATION AFTER 1/1/14:
Report employers who violate the law! Contact the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (RICHR) at 180 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903, or by phone at (401) 222-2662 to file a complaint.
If you feel you have been discriminated against, DARE will do its best to assist you. Call DARE at (401) 351-6960 and ask for John Prince or a member of the Behind the Walls Committee.