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Grand Rapids, Michigan Amends Human Rights Ordinance, Placing Limits on Employers

Effective December 1, 2019:  While Grand Rapids employers and landlords may consider a candidate’s criminal convictions and pending charges in making employment decisions, they may not consider arrests that did not result in convictions.  If employers or landlords do consider criminal history in their decision-making process, they must do so on a “case-by-case” basis, including consideration of the following factors:

  • The nature and severity of the crime.
  • The age of the individual at the time of the crime.
  • Whether the candidate has committed repeat offenses.
  • Whether the individual maintained a good employment history before or after the conviction.
  • Evidence of rehabilitation efforts.
  • Whether the crime for which the individual was convicted may pose a demonstrable risk to the health, safety, or welfare of other employees or persons or to property.

Additionally, employers and landlords are prohibited from having a ban on any potential candidates with criminal backgrounds.  The ordinance also makes it unlawful for any person or entity to “conspire with, assist, coerce or request another person to discriminate in any manner prohibited by the Ordinance.”  As such, background screening companies and temporary staffing agencies must also consider this law and its potential impacts.

Click here for the full text

*While this is not a Ban the Box law, it has similar effects.  As such, it is included for reference in this Resource Guide.

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