Effective January 1, 2017 all employers in the state of Connecticut with one or more employees are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application. The law provides exceptions in the following circumstances:
- the employer is required to do so by an applicable Federal or State law, or
- a security or fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the position for which the prospective employee is seeking employment.
Even if these exceptions exist, an applicant may not be asked to disclose information about either arrests, charges, or convictions that have been erased or expunged.
If the question of criminal history is asked on an employment application after the initial application or under one of the exceptions listed above, the form must contain a notice in clear and conspicuous language that:
- the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased;
- that the criminal records subject to erasure are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon, and
- that any person whose criminal records have been erased shall be deemed to have never been arrested and may swear so under oath.
No employer shall deny employment based solely on an applicant’s prior record which has been erased or if the applicant has received a provisional pardon or certificate of rehabilitation.
The law also establishes a “fair chance employment task force” that will study issues related employment opportunities of those individuals with criminal records.
Connecticut has become the 9th state to ‘ban the box’ for private employers and joins the ranks of many other jurisdictions nationwide that have laws which impact the use of criminal history in employment decisions. Staying up on the current laws and their requirements is vital to compliance. For a list of all locations with ‘ban the box’ laws click HERE