Connecticut Governor Signs Ban the Box Bill Into Law

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On June 1, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a Ban the Box bill into law that will prohibit most employers in the state with one or more employees from requiring job seekers to disclose any criminal history such as prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions on initial job applications. The Ban the Box law in Connecticut – part of a growing trend sweeping the nation – shall take effect on January 1, 2017.

Under the Connecticut Ban the Box law: No employer shall inquire about a prospective employee’s 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.

If an employer is permitted to inquire about criminal history under one of these two exceptions, the Ban the Box law requires that employer to include a notice in clear and conspicuous language:

  • That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased.
  • That criminal records subject to erasure are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon.
  • That any person whose criminal records have been erased shall be deemed to have never been arrested and may so swear under oath.

The Ban the Box law also establishes a “fair chance employment task force” to study issues that include employment opportunities available to ex-offenders and allows people to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner alleging an employer’s violation of this law. The complete text of the Connecticut Ban the Box law is available at www.cga.ct.gov/2016/ACT/pa/pdf/2016PA-00083-R00HB-05237-PA.pdf.

According to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), more than 100 cities and counties have Ban the Box laws. In addition, the following states have passed Ban the Box legislation: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

“Ban the Box” is the name of an international campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders that is aimed at persuading employers to remove the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record from their hiring applications. To read more ESR News Blogs about the growing Ban the Box movement, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/ban-the-box/.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a global provider of fast, accurate, affordable, and compliant background checks – supports fair and informed Ban the Box legislation. ESR offers employers a Ban the Box Information Page with news and resources about the Ban the Box movement. For information about Ban the Box, visit www.esrcheck.com/Ban-the-Box/. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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