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Missouri State Background Check Laws

Missouri Executive Order 16-04 (2016) was signed by Missouri’s governor in April 2016, directing all executive branch employers to remove criminal history questions from their job applications. Certain positions were exempt, due to their nature.


Columbia’s City Council passed a fair-chance ordinance in December 2014, prohibiting inquiry into criminal backgrounds until there is a conditional offer of employment. Employers can inform applicants that certain criminal offenses will disqualify them. EEOC criteria will be used to evaluate criminal background information.

Jackson County

In November 2016, the Jackson County Executive signed Executive Order 16-16, prohibiting criminal history questions on county job applications.

Kansas City

In April 2013, Kansas City passed an ordinance that amended Rule IV, Examinations, Section 15 to delay any inquiry into a job applicant’s convictions until after a candidate has been determined to be “otherwise qualified” for the position and has been interviewed.

The ordinance also prohibits the consideration of any invalid convictions that might be in a background check, such as those that have been expunged or annulled, misdemeanor convictions that had no jail sentence imposed, suspended sentence impositions, and guilty pleas that did not result in a conviction.

Although this ordinance only applied to city hiring practices, in February 2018, a similar ordinance was passed that extended these requirements to private employers. EEOC criteria are used to evaluate criminal history.

Employers cannot base hiring decisions on an applicant’s criminal history unless a recorded conviction is “reasonably related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.” Positions that are prohibited by law from being filled by applicants with specific past convictions are exempt.

Cities Include: Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, Independence, Lee’s Summit, O’Fallon, St. Joseph,  St. Charles and more.

Note: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with your own legal counsel for advice related to your state/locality.