VT and CT – Ban the Box

Posted by: Accurate Background

October 10, 2016

vermont_and_conneticut_ban_the_box

Connecticut and Vermont Will Ban the Box in 2017

Connecticut

The Basics

  • Location:  Connecticut
  • Legislation:Connecticut HB 5237
  • Type: Ban the Box
  • Effective: January 1, 2017

Key Takeaways

  • Applies to all public and private employers.
  • Employer may not inquire about criminal history on a job application.
  • Public employers have legislation from 2010 that imposes additional assessment and adverse action requirements in addition to this new legislation.

Who does this effect?

The law applies to employers with one or more employees.

When does this go into effect?

Connecticut’s Ban the Box law goes into effect January 1, 2017.

What is included in the law?

An employer must not inquire about prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an initial employment application unless (1) the employer is required to do so by an applicable state or federal law, or (2) a security or fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the position for which the prospective employee is seeking employment. An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language, that:
  • Applicants are not required to disclose the existence of arrest records, or any criminal charge or conviction records which have been erased.
  • Criminal records subject to erasure pertain to a finding a delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a dismissed, nolled, or not guilty criminal charge, or a pardoned criminal conviction.
  • Any person whose criminal records have been erased shall be deemed to have never been arrested.

Can employers still consider and take adverse action based on an applicant's criminal history?

This new law may impact your current adverse action procedures.  We recommend reviewing the law to determine what changes, if any, may be necessary when your company is considering an adverse decision.

Vermont

The Basics

  • Location:  Vermont
  • Legislation:Vermont H261
  • Type: Ban the Box
  • Effective: January 1, 2017

Key Takeaways

  • Applies to all employers. Public employers were already mandated by a 2015 Ban the Box executive order.
  • Employer may not inquire about criminal history on a job application.
  • Employers may take adverse action only after allowing the employee opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the conviction.

Who does this effect?

The law applies to employers doing business in or operating within the state of Vermont, and any agent of such employer, which has one or more individuals performing services for it within Vermont.

When does this go into effect?

Vermont’s Ban the Box law goes into effect July 1, 2017.

What is included in the law?

The legislation states an employer must not inquire about criminal history record information on an initial employee application form.  An employer may inquire about a prospective employee’s criminal history record during an interview or once the prospective employee has been deemed otherwise qualified for the position.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes. An employer may inquire about criminal convictions on an initial employee application form if certain conditions are met.  Each employer should review and evaluate if their organization meets the outlined exemptions.

Can employers still consider and take adverse action based on an applicant's criminal history?

Yes – However, if an employer inquires about a prospective employee’s criminal history record information, the prospective employee, if still eligible for the position under applicable federal or State law, must be afforded an opportunity to explain the information and the circumstances regarding any convictions, including post-conviction rehabilitation.

Recommendations

We recommend you review, and discuss with your legal counsel, your organization’s policies and procedures, including your company’s application, criminal history questions and adverse action process to ensure compliance with the changing laws. Please note:  The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes.  It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied.  Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations.