On July 16, 2013, Rhode Island’s SB357 was signed into law, making it the eighth state to pass “ban the box” legislation. Effective January 1, 2014, the law, with a few exceptions, will make it an “unlawful employment practice” for an employer in the state to inquire whether an applicant has ever been convicted of a crime before the first interview. In “banning the box” for private  employers, Rhode Island follows on the heels of Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, as well as the cities of Seattle, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Newark. And many more jurisdictions have already “banned the box” for public employers and public contractors, and even more have some form of the legislation under consideration. Congress too is pondering its federal HR 6220 or “Ban the Box Act” introduced last July, which similar to these state and local laws, would make it illegal for an employer to ask about criminal history in an interview or on an employment application.