City of Indianapolis Passes new “Ban the Box” Legislation

May 2, 2014 | Bryan Barajas

The City of Indianapolis has enacted a “Ban the Box” Ordinance, effective June 4, 2014. The Ordinance makes it illegal to ask applicants about prior arrests or criminal history which did not result in conviction on the employment application or during the initial interview, unless the applicant offers the information voluntarily.


The Indianapolis “Ban the Box” Ordinance applies to three types of employers:

(1) The City of Indianapolis and its departments, agencies, boards, and commissions (the “City”);

(2) any employer with ten or more full-time employees that holds or enters into a contract with a City agency (a “Vendor”); and

(3) any Marion County employer that receives an economic incentive from the government, including grants or loans of tax increment funds, certain tax abatements, certain revenue bonds and proceeds, loan and loan guarantees, general obligation bonds and proceeds, certified technology parks, income tax adjustments, deductions and exemptions, cash transfers, transfers of real or personal property not at fair market value; and “any other form of public financing that lower the project cost to the Recipient” (a “Recipient of Economic Incentives”).


Exemptions include positions that involve working with children or where compliance would conflict with other application laws (such as hiring for licensed trades or professions).


Violation of the ordinance could be met with a fine of no more than $2,500.00 for the first offense and $7,500.00 for subsequent offenses. The City may deny awards of contracts to vendors and contractors that are not in compliance.


It is recommended that all employers review their current hiring policies to ensure they are in compliance with current “Ban the Box” legislation and the EEOC Guidelines regarding use of criminal histories in hiring.


For a full listing of  the states, cities, counties and municipalities with “Ban the Box” legislation, visit

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