SB 5608 prohibits the practice of employers asking job applicants if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime before determining if the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. This includes not asking such questions on any employment application, inquiring orally or in writing, or receiving information through a criminal history background check. In addition, employers may not advertise job openings in a way that excludes people with arrests or convictions from applying.
This bill preserves an employer’s ability to conduct an inquiry about arrests or convictions before determining the applicant is otherwise qualified in categories of employment where the law provides special exception, such as a person who will have unsupervised access to children under the age of 18 years old, or a vulnerable adult.
The right of action to enforce this act is authorized. Damages to the applicant are equal to the cost of the application, plus $500. Costs of the suit may be recovered, and additional economic damages must be proven.
This is the companion bill to HB 1701.