Why Do Employers Discriminate Against People With Records? Stigma and the Case for Ban the Box

The stigma of a criminal record has significant influence on employers' decisions not to hire someone with a criminal record, in addition to the typically-cited reason related to fears of future criminal behavior. This research brief discusses the results of a study asking employers how they would respond to applicants with varying levels of criminal justice involvement. The finding that the stigma of a criminal record bears substantial weight on employers' hiring decisions leads the authors to support policies that limit employers' access to criminal records during the hiring process, such as ban the box policies.


Augustine, D., Zatz, N., & Sugie, N. (2020). Why Do Employers Discriminate Against People With Records? Stigma and the Case for Ban the Box (p. 9). UCLA Institute for Research on Labor & Employment. https://irle.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Criminal-Records-Final-6.pdf

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