Effective January 1, 2014, employers are now barred from obtaining or asking for an applicant’s criminal history before the applicant has either been selected for an interview or received a conditional job offer.  Additionally, the new law prohibits job applications from asking for an applicant’s criminal background.  Employers may still refuse to hire applicants with criminal histories if the employer can demonstrate that the need to do so is job related and of business necessity or required by law or regulation.  Employers cannot consider arrests, only convictions.  You should be sure to examine your hiring materials and practices to ensure they comply with the new law.  This is especially true of existing job application forms.  Those forms can no longer ask an applicant about their criminal history.

 If you have any questions about this issue or any other employment law issues please contact one of our employment law attorneys, Julia Corbett, Beth Serrill, or Kevin Velasquez, at 507-345-1166.