On October 9, 2014 the Montgomery County Council Committee met to discuss Bill 36-14 also referred to as “Ban the Box.” The bill would prohibit certain employers from including a criminal history question on a job application or asking about arrest history or convictions until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. Discussion was had on whether or not a criminal history question could be asked at the completion of an interview.

However more questions were raised as to what exactly would determine the end of an interview. This left some wondering, if additional inquiries were made immediately following the interview, such as clarification of skills or criminal history, would those questions be considered an ongoing part of the interview?

While many questions still remain, one fact is undisputable; individuals with a criminal past will soon be looked at for their qualifications rather than having their applications tossed aside because they checked “yes” in a box.

The chief sponsor of Bill 36-14 is Councilmember Marc Elrich and cosponsored by Councilmembers Cherri Branson, Nancy Navarro, Craig Rice, and Hans Riemer.  Pending approval, the Bill is set to take effect on January 1, 2015, making Montgomery County the second in Maryland to pass such legislation.

To view the HHS/PS Committee Packet used during the Montgomery County Council Committee meeting on 10/09/2014 click here.