New Massachusetts Law Limits Certain Criminal History Inquiries

Massachusetts has limited certain inquiries into criminal history.

Restricted Information
Among other things, employers with 6 or more employees are generally prohibited from requesting any information or using any job application to request a person’s:

  • Sealed or expunged criminal record; or
  • Misdemeanor conviction where the date of the conviction or completion of any period of resulting incarceration, whichever date is later, occurred 3 or more years (a change from 5 or more years) before the date of the job application or request.

These provisions are effective October 13, 2018Click here to read the law.

Posted by HR360

New Fair Chance Law bans Washington employers from asking about criminal history

On Tuesday March 13, 2018, Governor Inslee signed into law a bill that would ban employers from adding that “box” that asks about one’s criminal background history during the initial application process.

Under House Bill 1298, an employer may no do the following:

  • include any question on any job application;
  • inquire either orally or in writing;
  • receive information through a criminal history background check;
  • or otherwise obtain information;

about an applicant’s criminal record until after the employer initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position.

Once the employer has initially determined that the applicant is otherwise qualified, the employer may inquire into or obtain information about a criminal record.

An employer may not advertise employment openings in a way that excludes people with criminal records from applying. Ads that state “no felons,” “no criminal background,” or otherwise convey similar messages are prohibited.

An employer may not implement any policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes individuals with a criminal record from consideration prior to an initial determination that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position.

Exemptions 
Certain employers are exempt (§ 4) from these prohibitions, including employers who are expressly permitted or required under federal or state law to inquire into or consider information about an applicant’s or employee’s criminal record for employment purposes. This would include jobs in law enforcement, state agencies, schools and other businesses that supervise children, persons with disabilities and vulnerable adults.

The law is expected to take effect on June 6, 2018. Additional provisions are contained in the text of the law.

For the sake of our All In One Posters, it has not been determined at this moment whether a mandatory notice is required to be posted.

Connecticut Enacts ‘Ban the Box’ Law

Originally Published by HR360

Law Effective January 1, 2017

Under a new law in Connecticut, employers are prohibited from inquiring about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges, orconvictions on an initial employment application, unless:

  • The employer is required to do so by an applicable state or federal law; or
  • A security or fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the position for which the prospective employee is seeking employment.

An employee or prospective employee may file a complaint with the state Labor Commissioner alleging an employer’s violation of the “Ban the Box” law.

The law is effective January 1, 2017. Click here to read the text of the law.