Effective September 1, 2019, for employers with 11 or more employees, and effective September 1, 2021, for all employers, the bill prohibits employers 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.
An employer may 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 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, for second or subsequent violations, impose civil penalties. A violation of the restrictions does not create a private cause of action, and the bill does not create a protected class under employment anti-discrimination laws. The department is directed to adopt rules regarding procedures for handling complaints against employers.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)