Effective January 1, 2014, a recent amendment to Rhode Island law will restrict the timing of pre-employment inquiries by Rhode Island employers about a job applicant’s criminal past. Employers who are covered by the law may not inquire about an applicant’s prior criminal history until during or after the first interview with the applicant.
The amendment to Rhode Island’s Fair Employment Practices law reflects the trend toward so-called “Ban the Box” laws that have been enacted in other jurisdictions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has likewise endorsed this limitation in its updated guidance regarding consideration of arrest and conviction records under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continue reading about this development in Littler’s ASAP, Rhode Island Enacts “Ban the Box” Law Prohibiting Employment Application Criminal History Inquiries Until the First Job Interview by Rod Fliegel and Jennifer Mora.