Three states have expanded existing laws or regulations pertaining to the criminal background checks by private employers, as follows:

BAN THE BOX:  As of July 1, 2017, Connecticut law prohibits asking about criminal history on job applications and denying employment solely on the basis of “erased records.”  Pardoned and/or rehabilitated convictions cannot form the sole basis of a discharge.

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BAN THE BOX:  As of July 1, 2017, Vermont employers are prohibited from requesting criminal record information on an initial application. If subsequently uncovered by the employer, the applicant must be given an opportunity to respond.

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GUIDANCE ON THE CONSIDERATION OF CRIMINAL HISTORY/MARIJUANA:  As of July 1, 2017, California adopted new regulations that govern the use of criminal history in employment decisions. This largely follows the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2012 Guidance.  Employers cannot consider non-felony convictions for possession of marijuana that are over two years old, nor consider criminal history if doing so will result in an adverse impact on individuals within a protected class. The regulations further require employers to notify applicants before taking adverse action and provide them a reasonable opportunity to present evidence that the information is factually inaccurate. Reminder that as of January 1, 2017, California employers are also prohibited from considering juvenile convictions when making a hiring decision.

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