Gov. Nixon signs executive order to “Ban the Box” in state employment

Governor Jay Nixon today signed Executive Order 16-04 that will “ban the box” in state employment by placing questions relating to criminal history later in the hiring process in order to provide these applicants a “fair opportunity to compete for jobs,” according to a press release on the Governor’s website.

Associated Industries of Missouri has objected to bills that would “ban the box” for private employers, primarily due to concerns over employers’ efforts to provide safe workplaces and not wanting to waste the time of applicants and human resource managers in interviewing applicants that may never be hired because of their criminal backgrounds. We have argued that an employer should know about these criminal convictions before they move forward in the employment process and take any such convictions into account when making hiring decisions. That way, the employer goes into the situation with all the knowledge they need to help prevent another criminal act and protect their employees. Simply turning a blind eye to a criminal background, at least until further in the employment process, does not seem to be efficient or safe.

This Executive Order means the State of Missouri, as an employer, will establish a track record of this concept. We hope the state is able to continue to provide a safe workplace for its employees as they implement this Order.

Here is a video with the Governor announcing the new Executive Order: