Colorado Ban the Box Law to Limit Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries Takes Effect September 1

Ban the Box

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Colorado House Bill (HB) 19-1025 – legislation that will Ban the Box and place limits on inquiries about the criminal history of job applicants by employers in the state – takes effect on September 1, 2019, for employers in the state with 11 or more employees, and will take effect for all employers in the state on September 1, 2021.

On May 28, 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed HB 19-1025 into law, nearly seven years to the day after former Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 1263 to “Ban the Box” for Colorado state agencies. Effective September 1, 2019, HB 19-1025 will prohibit employers in Colorado with 11 or more employees from:

  • Advertising that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position;
  • Placing a statement in an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position; or
  • Inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application.

Titled “Limits On Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries,” the law will still allow employers in Colorado to obtain a job applicant’s publicly available criminal background report at any time. An employer is exempt from the restrictions on advertising and initial employment applications when:

  • The law prohibits a person who has a particular criminal history from being employed in a particular job;
  • The employer is participating in a program to encourage employment of people with criminal histories; or
  • The employer is required by law to conduct a criminal history record check for the particular position.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is charged with enforcing the requirements of the bill and may issue warnings and orders of compliance for violations and impose civil penalties for second or subsequent violations. A violation of the restrictions does not create a private cause of action.

“Ban the Box” is a growing nationwide movement that seeks to advance job opportunities for applicants with criminal records by eliminating any inquiry into the criminal history on job applications. As of August 2019, more than 150 cities and counties, as well as 35 states, have passed Ban the Box laws.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm – offers a Ban the Box Resource Page the contains complimentary white papers, infographics, and an interactive Ban the Box map updated with the latest laws available at www.esrcheck.com/Legislative-Compliance/Ban-the-Box/.

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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