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Montgomery County, MD, ban the box law

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The Basics

  • Location: Montgomery County
  • Legislation: Bill 35-20
  • Effective: Jan. 1, 2015

Key Takeaways

  • Covers virtually all employers in the County.
  • Employers must wait until after a conditional offer to inquire about criminal history.
  • Employers are limited in the types of criminal history information they can consider.
  • The law has specific notice requirements when action is taken based on an applicant’s criminal history.

Who does this effect?

Applies to employers with 1 or more “persons” in the County.

What does the law provide?

  • Criminal history information can be sought after a conditional offer (need not be in writing).
  • Employers not inquire about or consider: any arrest that did not result in a conviction (“has been arrested for, or has an arrest record for, a matter that did not result in a conviction”); first convictions for trespass; disturbance of the peace; or assault in the second degree; a conviction of a misdemeanor more than 3 years old since date of conviction and the date that any period of incarceration ended; or records that are confidential or have been expunged.
  • Employers must conduct an individualized assessment, which requires consideration of: specific offenses that demonstrate unfitness to perform the duties of the position; the time elapsed since the offenses, and any evidence of inaccuracy in the record.

Are there any notice requirements?

Where the adverse decision is based on criminal history information, regardless of the source:

  • a pre-adverse action notice must include the criminal history report, specify the items that are the basis for the intention to rescind the offer and provide notice of intention to rescind the conditional offer; and
  • an adverse action notice must inform the individual in writing of the rescission of the conditional offer.

The employer must delay rescinding the offer of employment for seven days to permit the applicant to notify the employer that the information on which it intends to rely is inaccurate.

Are there any exceptions

Exempts inquiries that are expressly authorized by an applicable federal, State, or County law or regulation. Employers should consult with their to see if they are otherwise exempt from the law.