In response to an initiative known as “Ban the Box,” Michigan-based MyCDLapp.com recently updated its popular software to support carriers who are required to remove felony and criminal history questions from their driver applications. MyCDLapp.com is a software platform that allows small and medium carriers to implement affordable online driver job applications that are mobile ready and can accept electronic signatures on any device.
Ban the Box is an international campaign aimed at persuading employers to remove the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record from their hiring applications. Nationwide, over half of the states and localities have already adopted the Ban the Box legislation, as well as other fair chance laws requiring prospective employers to consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the negative stigma of their criminal history. On a federal level, President Obama has endorsed Ban the Box by directing all federal agencies to delay inquiries into a job applicant’s criminal history until later in the hiring process.
MyCDLapp.com has made it possible for its client carriers to easily comply with any Ban the Box regulations by making criminal history questions a client-controlled option on their online employment applications and consent forms. “Nearly all of the carriers we serve have some sort of unique hiring circumstance to contend with. This is just another example of how our online application is designed to address those exceptional requirements,” says Brandon Lawrence, Customer Service Manager at MyCDLapp.com.
As the number of states and counties enacting fair chance laws continues to grow, more carriers will be required to revise their application processes in order to comply, starting with any hiring forms they use. Carriers who utilize MyCDLapp.com as their online driver application are able to update their hiring forms with the press of a button. “We have actually been surprised with the number of carriers that have proactively removed the criminal history questions from their application forms in support of the initiative,” says Lawrence. “Those carriers are still investigating each applicant’s history as required by FMCSA, however, they have simply moved the general criminal history part of the investigation downstream.”
Ban the Box legislation varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some states, the laws are currently limited to the public sector while other jurisdictions target private employers, including trucking companies. Under most Ban the Box legislation, criminal history may still be examined, but only after the driver applicant has been evaluated on their ability to perform the job. Carriers are offered some exemptions for convictions specifically related to violations of motor vehicle laws within the prior three years.
Carriers are encouraged to seek guidance from counsel prior to making changes to their employment applications or hiring practices to ensure compliance.