The Act, which aims to give applicants with criminal records a more meaningful chance to compete for jobs, limits an employer’s ability to ask about criminal history at the application stage and also limits statements about criminal history on job applications and advertisements. Key provisions of the Act “Criminal history” is defined in the Act as “the record of arrests, charges, pleas, or convictions for any misdemeanor or felony at the federal, state or local level.” Specifically, under the Act:
- Employers may not state that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position in an advertisement for employment or on any application, and
- Employers may not ask about an applicant’s criminal history on the initial application. However, employers may obtain publicly available criminal background reports of an applicant at any time.
- A federal, state, or local law or regulation prohibits employing a person with a specific criminal history in the position being offered or advertised, or
- The employer has designated the position to participate in a government program to encourage the employment of individuals with criminal histories, or
- The employer is required by law or regulation to conduct a criminal history check for the position.
- The Act does not apply to state or local governments, or to quasi-governmental entities or political subdivisions of the state.