State of Virginia Bans the Box

April 10, 2015 | Bryan Barajas

bantheboxOn April 3rd, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe  signed an Executive Order  affecting state hiring practices by removing questions regarding criminal history from employment applications. Specifically, the Order requires the state’s Department of Human Resources Management to, among other things:

  • Amend the state employment application to “ban the box”, removing those questions relating to convictions and criminal history;
  • Inform all hiring authorities within the executive branch that state employment decisions will not be based on the criminal history of an individual unless demonstrably job-related and consistent with business necessity, or state or federal law prohibits hiring an individual with certain convictions for a particular position; and
  • Provide guidance to ensure that any criminal history background check is only conducted after a candidate has (a) signed the appropriate waiver authorizing release, (b) been found otherwise eligible for the position, and (c) is being considered for a specific position.


The Order states that it applies to all agencies, boards and commissions within the executive branch, and “also encourages similar hiring practices among private employers operating within the Commonwealth and state government contractors.”

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