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.
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.