Ban the Box

In late 2015, Portland’s City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that specifies how Portland employers may use criminal histories in the candidate hiring process. These rules follow legislation enacted by the state of Oregon that became effective January 1, 2016.

Portland’s Ban-the-Box law is stricter than the Oregon legislation, under which employers are permitted to inquire into criminal history after the initial interview. The Portland statute prohibits covered employers from considering a job applicant’s criminal history prior to a conditional offer of employment. Before rescinding a conditional offer of employment based on criminal history, employers must conduct an “individualized assessment” similar to the targeted screens recommended by the EEOC in its April 2012 Enforcement Guidance.

Portland’s law, which applies to any employer with six or more employees, at least one of whom works in the City of Portland “a majority of the time,” also bars covered employers from considering certain categories of criminal histories.