It seems the federal government is slowly joining the many states, cities and counties around the country that are prohibiting employer questions about criminal activities in a job applicant’s history until a conditional job offer has been extended. With passage of the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act in December (incorporated in the Defense Authorization Bill), the ban the box provisions will go into effect on December 20, 2021 for federal agencies and private sector federal contractors. Ban the Box prohibits employers from undertaking criminal history inquiries – either directly or through a background screening process – until a job offer is extended. Initially, the federal ban the box mandate will only apply to applicants seeking employment in positions related to “work under” the federal contract, but that limitation is a slippery slope and can be quickly expanded to all employment activities.