On April 11, 2016, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed Executive Order 16-04 to implement a ban the box hiring policy for government entities. As defined in the Order, ban the box is a “policy which places questions relating to an individual’s criminal history later in the hiring process in order to provide applicants an opportunity to explain the unique aspects of their situation to a potential employer.” The policy gives individuals a fair chance to apply to job positions by not requiring them to disclose their criminal history. Removing this barrier during the initial application process can open the doors to improving public safety, enhancing workforce development, and providing increased state employment opportunities for job applicants with a criminal history. However, employers may still run a criminal background check as a condition of employment especially when it involves sensitive governmental positions.
State departments, agencies, and boards and commissions must implement the Order starting July 10, 2016. All criminal history questions must be removed from the initial employment applications. For more information, make sure to visit the Office of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon website.