Waterloo, Iowa: Expansive Ban-the-Box Now in Effect


All Employers with 15+ Waterloo, IA Employees


July 1, 2020


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Despite legal challenges, the City of Waterloo’s Ban-the-Box Ordinance went into effect as scheduled on July 1, 2020.  It prohibits employers from inquiring in any manner into an applicant’s criminal history prior to a conditional offer of employment, unless the applicant voluntarily discloses such information before an offer is made.  The ordinance also places limitations on when employers can make employment decisions or rescind offers of employment.

Specifically, employers may not make an employment decision based on arrests or pending criminal charges, or based on convictions that have been erased, expunged, or otherwise nullified.

Similarly, an employer may rescind a conditional offer of employment because of criminal history only in specific situations, such as:

  1. When the nature of the criminal history has a direct and substantial bearing on the applicants’ ability to perform the duties or job responsibilities of the position, taking into account factors like the nature of the position, the seriousness of the criminal conduct, the length of time between conviction and employment application, frequency of convictions or pending charges, and more;
  2. When employment involves unreasonable risk of substantial harm to property or the safety of others, the business reputation, or business assets, and in consideration of the same factors listed above;
  3. When the job position involves working with children, developmentally disabled persons, and vulnerable adults, and the individual in question has a conviction record of criminal history related to crimes involving such parties;
  4. Where an employer must comply with federal or local laws or regulations regarding background checks, and the criminal conduct is related to the applicant’s fitness for the job.

Action Items

  1. Review the full text of the ordinance here.
  2. Revise job postings and employment applications for compliance with the new regulations.
  3. Train hiring managers on timing and permissible criminal history inquiries for compliance with the new regulations.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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