TriMet “Bans the Box”

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Agency also expands criminal records policy

TriMet’s Board of Directors today unanimously approved to “Ban the Box” on all job applications. This change complies with a new state law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.

The new law still allows TriMet to conduct criminal background checks early in the process for bus and LIFT operators. However, the agency will discontinue the practice of asking about criminal convictions on all job applications, and only conduct a background check for select job positions, including bus and LIFT operators, after a conditional job offer has been made.

“This change means more people will have a better chance at getting a job by removing a barrier for those who have been in the criminal justice system,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.

This board action updates the Criminal Records policy approved by the TriMet board in 1999.

Revised Criminal Records Policy

The board’s action also includes expanding post-offer criminal background checks to applicants, employees and contractors who have access to critical infrastructure or security sensitive facilities or information. TriMet conducts both a state and national (FBI) criminal background check. TriMet will also conduct a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) check if the person is seeking a position where the essential function requires access to sensitive financial information. What is not changing is that if an applicant is convicted of a crime against persons, public order, property or life, or firearms and other weapons crimes may disqualify the person from hire forever or for a specific period of time based on the crime.