Ban-the-box still bad policy, despite improvements

Monday, April 24, 2017

Significant changes to this year's version of "Ban the Box" (House Bill 1305) have reduced the specter of litigation by potential employees, and for that sponsors Rep. Mike Foote (D-Lafayette) and Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Denver) deserve credit.

However, businesses use questions about criminal history for a variety of reasons - not simply because they don't want ex-cons in the workplace.

Employers ask for criminal history to protect employees and customers and to avoid litigation. Employers often owe a duty of reasonable care to both employees and customers to avoid personal harm to either. Courts often hold employers liable for criminal or intentional harm caused by an employee when, in they eyes of a jury with 20/20 hindsight, it was "reasonably foreseeable" that some type of harm or injury could result from hiring or retaining an employee with a criminal history.

That's why employers use questions about criminal history to fulfill their duty of care to other employees and to customers. And that's why Colorado Civil Justice League remains OPPOSED to HB 1305.



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