Connecticut’s New ‘Ban the Box’ Law

Published on June 15, 2016

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a new Fair Chance Employment law, more commonly known as a Ban the Box, which limits pre-employment criminal screenings by private employers.

The new law, which takes effect January 1, 2017, prohibits Connecticut employers from including on an initial employment application questions about a prospective employee’s arrests, criminal charges, or convictions.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) reports that in addition to Connecticut, 19 other states have passed Ban the Box laws, and more than 100 cities and counties – some of which do require employers to display postings or otherwise provide notice to applicants and employees.

Exceptions to Connecticut Fair Chance Employment Law

There are exceptions baked into the law for positions where pre-employment criminal screening is required by state or federal law, or if the position is bonded.

Within those exceptions, employers can ask about arrests and convictions on the job application, but the application needs to clearly state that the applicant doesn’t need to reveal any arrests, criminal charges, or convictions that have been expunged, dismissed, pardoned, or otherwise adjudicated.

Next Steps for Connecticut Employers

The employment law firm of Jackson Lewis suggests that employers take the following steps to prepare for the January 1, 2017, effective date:

  • Revise employment application materials to remove all inquiries regarding an applicant’s prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions.
  • Make sure key employees in the hiring process are educated about the new provision.
  • Check local city ordinances and in other jurisdictions.
  • Understand how ban the box laws of other jurisdictions may affect the hiring process, including online applications and advertisements.

Connecticut Fair Chance Employment Posting and Notice Requirement

Although the legislation does not include a posting requirement, our Compliance and Research Department will continue to monitor for the release of a required notice, which would be automatically provided to our Update Program clients as part of their ongoing, guaranteed compliance provided by GovDocs.

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