- Beginning January 1, 2017, Connecticut will be the ninth state to “ban the box” on private employers' job applications.
- Any employer engaged in Connecticut that has one or more employees must abide, and the law bars employers from making any inquiry about an applicant's prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions “on an initial employment application,” according to the National Law review.
- The new law can be ignored in rare circumstances. For example, when a state or federal law requires the employer to conduct criminal background inquiries. The other situation is if the job requires a security or fidelity bond (or an equivalent bond) on an employee.
Connecticut joins Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont on the ban-the-box bandwagon. The good news for Connecticut employers is the new law only limits inquiries “on an initial employment application.” That's a lower bar than with other states.
HR's primary work in the new law is fairly straightforward: revise Connecticut-based job applications and unless an exception applies delete questions queries about an applicant’s prior arrests, criminal charges or criminal conviction history. It's also a good idea to train managers and recruiters to stay mum on an applicant’s criminal history until the initial employment application is on the books.
Earlier this year the White House mounted a major ban-the-box campaign, and several major large employers signed the pledge.