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OPM Releases New Guidance on When It’s Ok Not to ‘Ban the Box’

Written by FEDagent on .

In instances where a federal job applicant’s clean criminal history record is essential, agencies are able to request an applicant’s criminal or adverse credit history, according to recent guidance released by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

To prevent undue denials of federal job applicants, then-president Barack Obama enacted the “Recruitment, Selection, and Placement (General) and Suitability” rule, otherwise known as “ban the box.” Under this measure, agencies are allowed to request an applicant’s criminal or adverse credit history only after making a conditional offer of employment to the candidate.

The guidance, released Feb. 15, permits agencies to request the information earlier if agencies can establish with OPM job-related reasons why they must request the information earlier, such as if the applicant is seeking a job where “the ability to testify as a witness is a requirement of the position, and thus a clean criminal history record would be essential to the ability to perform one of the duties of the position effectively.” 

According to the guidance, agencies looking for an exemption must provide the following information to OPM: 

Agencies who receive exemptions are not required to submit subsequent exemptions for the position and can rescind the exemption at any time. 

Compliance questions can be answered by Michael Gilmore at Michael.Gilmore@opm.gov or (202) 606-2429. 

Posted in General News

Tags: ban the box

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