Delaware Bill Would Prohibit Employers from Considering Criminal Record and Credit History of Applicants before Job Offer

Lawmakers in Delaware have introduced legislation – House Bill No. 167 – that would prohibit public employers in the state from considering the criminal record or credit history of an applicant before making a conditional job offer. The bill would also restrict the authority of state and local government agencies to conduct criminal background checks on potential new hires. The full text of House Bill No. 167 is available at$file/legis.html?open.

House Bill No. 167 would permit inquiry into and consideration of criminal backgrounds only after a conditional job offer and specifies that once a criminal background check is conducted an employer shall only consider felonies for 10 years from the completion of sentence and misdemeanors for 5 years from the completion of sentence. In addition, employers would be required to consider the following factors when evaluating candidates or employees based on the results of a criminal background check:

  • The nature of the crime and its relationship to the duties of the position sought or held.
  • Any information pertaining to the degree of rehabilitation and good conduct, including any information produced by the candidate or employee, or produced on his or her behalf.
  • Does the prospective job provide an opportunity for the commission of a similar offense(s)?
  • Are the circumstances leading to the offense(s) likely to reoccur?
  • How much time has elapsed since the offense(s)?

House Bill No. 167 would also require contractors with State agencies to employ similar policies where not in conflict with other State or federal requirements. However, the bill does include certain exceptions for police departments, the Department of Correction, and other positions with a statutory mandate background checks. House Bill No. 167 is currently assigned to the Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee in the House.

According to a “Ban the Box” Resource Guide from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), nine states – Colorado, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Mexico – have joined the movement to remove the criminal record question from job applications. In addition, 50 cities and counties have adopted similar reforms. The Resource Guide is available at

A group of national civil and workers’ rights organizations released a report – ‘Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring’ – on the use of criminal background checks by employers. Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), was one of the background screening industry consultants who helped develop the report, which is available at

Meanwhile, ten U.S. states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington – have passed laws to limit the use of credit reports by employers for employment purposes. For more information about U.S. states with laws regulating credit reports for employment, including summaries of the laws and links to the full text, visit

Now more than ever employers need to be educated on the proper use of criminal records and credit reports for employment purposes. Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– is a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). For more information, visit or call toll free 888.999.4474.


About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit or call toll free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:

The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit