Ban The Box

Tennessee’s Ban the Box law is Senate Bill 2440. It discusses covered and non-covered positions.

If a position is covered, then the employer must include the following statement:


This position requires a criminal background check. Therefore, you may be required to provide information about your criminal history in order to be considered for this position.

If a position is not covered, then the employer is prohibited from inquiring about criminal records on the job application. After reviewing the application, employers may inquire about an applicant’s criminal history but they must also give the person an opportunity to explain that history.

Before making a final decision, employers must consider the following:

  • Whether the offense was relevant to the specific job duties.
  • How much time has passed.
  • How old the applicant was when the offense was committed.
  • The seriousness of the offense.
  • The frequency of offenses if more than one occurred.
  • Any information about rehabilitation.
  • Public policy considerations regarding the benefits of employment for applicants with criminal histories.

Effective July 1, 2018

School Employees Must Get Background Checks Every Five Years

Tennessee passed Senate Bill 2014 which states that anyone who applies for work as a teacher or any other position that will work with school children or children in a care program must pass a background check before being hired and undergo subsequent background screenings every five years. This involves:

  • Authorizing the release of investigative records to the board or child care program for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of criminal violation information as required by g 9-5-a0O(a)(1)(A);
  • Authorizing a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee bureau of investigation and the federal bureau of investigation.

The background checks will be used to help determine the subject’s suitability for employment at a facility where they will work with children. This law also applies to potential contractors and volunteers.

Backgrounds Online provides details about State Laws for informational purposes only. We do not provide legal services. Nothing on these pages or our site should be considered as legal advice or opinion.