June 1, 2016
On June 1, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 16-83 which makes it unlawful for covered employers to inquire about a prospective employee’s arrest record and any criminal charges and/or convictions on an initial employment application. Connecticut defines a covered employer as any person or company who employs 1 or more employees. Not defined yet, but likely, the law may also apply to all employees who either work and/or reside within the state.
However, Connecticut employers are allowed to ask job applicant’s about prior arrest records, criminal charges and/or convictions on an employment application when the following conditions are met:
1.) An employer is required to inquire by federal and state laws and/or;
2.) The job position applied for requires the applicant to possess a fidelity or security bond
As a general rule, Connecticut employers may still conduct criminal history inquires on job candidates, however, the timing of the inquiry is critical. It must be conducted after the initial employment application has been completed.
Connecticut has also formed a committee called the, “Fair Chance Employment Task Force,” to study hiring processes, including those conducted with job applicants who have some form of criminal history. This committee may bring proposed amendments to this Ban-the-Box law in the future.
Enforcement of this law does not provide individuals with a private right of action against an employer. The Connecticut Labor Commissioner will handle all complaints of violations within the state and the fine levels have yet to be published.
As expected, the wave of Ban-the-Box legislation is continuing to expand across the U.S. in 2016. Employers with questions regarding this and other labor laws should contact their legal counsel to ensure labor law compliance is achieved.
For more information on the Conneticut Ban the Box law, see the following website: