On February 1, 2018, Kansas City, Missouri joined the ranks of more than 150 cities and counties to enact a “ban the box” ordinance, aimed at equalizing the chances to gain employment by those previously convicted of a crime. Effective June 9, 2018, the ordinance expands Kansas City’s 2013 ordinance that applied only to city employees. The new ordinance, “Criminal Records in Employment,” found at Section 38-104, applies to most employers employing six or more in Kansas City. It excludes employers that are prohibited by a local, state, or federal law or regulation from considering applicants with a criminal record.
Under the ordinance, employers are banned from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history until after the applicant has been interviewed, i.e., employers can no longer ask about criminal convictions on an employment application. Criminal history is defined in the ordinance to include felony and misdemeanor convictions, guilty and no contest