The State of Colorado has passed a “ban the box” law that takes effect September 1, 2019, for employers that have 11 or more employees. Employers with 10 or fewer employees will need to comply beginning September 1, 2021. The law is relatively weak compared to others across the country and likely only requires a few adjustments to job ads and applications.
What the law prohibits:
- Stating on a job ad or application that someone with a criminal history may not apply
- Asking about criminal histories on an initial job application
These restrictions do not apply if the employer is required by law to run a background check on that type of position or if a person with a specific kind of criminal history is prohibited from holding that position by law.
Employers are still free to run a background check at any point in the hiring process and to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history before, during, or after an interview.
To ensure compliance with the law, employers should review the language on their job postings and remove any questions about criminal history from their initial employment application, whether on paper or online.
Similar laws are in effect in the following states: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
“Governor Polis signed legislation Tuesday making Colorado the 13th state to prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on initial job applications.”
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