If you own or run a business – chances are that one of your top concerns is the safety of your employees and the business itself.
So it would be natural for you to want to know if job applicants might have a criminal history that could put employees or customers at risk. Right?
Well – the Connecticut legislature has just passed and the Governor just signed a new law that prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant’s prior criminal record on job applications. It’s called An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment. An employer may inquire about an applicant’s prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions on an employment application form only if “the employer is required to do so by an applicable state or federal law; or a security or fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the position.
With this new law in place – it’s worth thinking about this statistic: Roughly two million workers are affected by workplace violence annually.
What’s the relevance of this stat?
Employers have a legitimate need to know whether applicants have engaged in behaviors that could pose a risk to the safety of others.
Have they retained any rights in this matter as it relates to hiring?
Yes – thankfully – while employers may not inquire about an applicant’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on a job application, they may still inquire about a job applicant’s past history during the interviewing process.
The key takeaways:
- This legislation continues the trend of additional governmental intervention into the employment arena restricting an employer’s ability to obtain important information about an applicant’s qualifications for the position.
- All employers should now review their application materials to ensure that they are compliant with the new law and remove any impermissible criminal history questions from their initial employment applications by January 1, 2017.
If you’re an employer and find yourself unsure about the rules governing the hiring process, consider calling on the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale in Connecticut. We do one thing, and one thing alone – we are a Connecticut employer defense law firm – we work to protect the interests of employers throughout the region. What’s more, each of our Connecticut attorneys has over 20 years of experience in employment law and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please contact us if we can help you.
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