Portland Passes Bill to “Ban-the-Box” on Criminal History

(Last Updated On: October 18, 2018)

Oregon Bans the Box

Special Announcement to all City of Portland, Oregon employers:

On November 25, 2015, the Portland City Council passed ordinance #187459. This law will restrict employers in the city from asking about or searching for criminal history information. The law will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Under the law, the following restrictions will apply:

23.10.030 – Use of Criminal History in Employment Decisions.

A. It is an unlawful practice for an Employer to exclude an applicant from consideration solely because of the applicant’s criminal history.

B. An Employer may consider an applicant’s criminal history in the hiring process only after making a Conditional Offer of Employment. An Employer violates this Chapter if an Employer accesses an applicant’s criminal history prior to making a Conditional Offer of Employment.

C. It is not an unlawful practice for an Employer to rescind a Conditional Offer of Employment-based upon an applicant’s criminal history if an Employer determines in good faith that a specific offense or conduct is job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.

D. In making the determination of whether an applicant’s criminal history is job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity, an Employer must conduct an individualized assessment of:

1. The nature and gravity of the criminal offense;
2. The time that has elapsed since the criminal offense took place; and
3. The nature of the Employment held or sought.

E. Nothing in this section prevents an employer from considering an applicant’s criminal history after making a conditional offer of employment, except that an employer shall not consider:

1. An arrest not leading to a conviction, except where a crime is unresolved or charges are pending against an applicant;
2. Convictions that have been judicially voided or expunged; or
3. Charges that have been resolved through the completion of a diversion or deferral of judgment program for offenses not involving physical harm or attempted physical harm to a person.

F. If, after consideration of an applicant’ s criminal history an employer rescinds the conditional offer of employment, the employer shall notify the applicant in writing of its decision and shall identify the relevant criminal convictions on which the decision is based.

The full text of this ordinance is available at The City of Portland 187459


This law will require a review of the hiring process in place and may require changes to that process.

In order to comply with this law, Justifacts recommends that you consult with your legal department. This will help your company determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your hiring process.

It is important to note that Justifacts is providing this information as a service to our clients. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice. We go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.


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