Released in April 2012, the updated Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance specifies public policy interests for protecting the employment of ex-offenders in the workplace under “Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963.”
Minnesota recently passed its own “Ban the Box” law and California, Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin already have laws to protect ex-offenders. Employers should be aware of additional local and state laws that restrict inquires into and consideration of an applicant’s criminal history information. For instance, the City of Newark, New Jersey, passed an ordinance that banned employers from requesting criminal history information in their employment applications. There are states taking another approach to promote the same interests—a new law pending in Texas will curb lawsuits against employers.
To learn more about this, please see Littler’s ASAP, The Flurry of New Employment Laws Regulating the Use of Criminal Records Continues with Expanded Restrictions in Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, by Jennifer Mora, Rod Fliegel, and Sherry Travers.