Beginning in 2017, Connecticut and Vermont will become the eight and ninth states to "ban the box" for private employers:
Effective January 1, 2017, Connecticut employers will be prohibited from requesting criminal history information on an initial application form. Exceptions apply if:
- the employer is required by federal or state law to inquireabout criminal history; or
- a security, fidelity or equivalent bond is required for the position.
When one of these exceptions applies, and the application form contains a criminal history inquiry, the form also must contain a notice indicating that the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of certain specified arrests, charges and convictions that have been erased.
Individuals aggrieved by violations of the law can file a complaint with the Connecticut Labor Commissioner.
Effective July 1, 2017, Vermont employers will be prohibited from requesting criminal history information on an initial application form. Employers may inquire about criminal history during an interview or once a prospective employee has been deemed otherwise qualified for the position. Exceptions apply if:
- a federal or state law or regulation creates a mandatory or presumptive disqualification from the position based on a conviction for one or more types of criminal offenses; or
- the employer or an affiliate is subject to an obligation imposed by a federal or State law or regulation not to employee an individual who has been convicted of one or more types of criminal offenses,
provided that the questions on the application must be limited to the types of criminal offenses creating the disqualification or obligation.
In addition, if an employer inquires about criminal history information at any point during the hiring process, the candidate must be given the opportunity to provide additional information regarding any convictions, including postconviction rehabilitation.
The law provides that employers will be assessed a civil penalty of up to $100 for each violation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.