HR Alert

Washington Passes 'Ban the Box' Law

Washington Passes 'Ban the Box' Law

Law Expected to Take Effect June 6, 2018

Washington has passed a "Ban the Box" law. Highlights of the law are presented below.

Prohibited Employer Actions
An employer may not include any question on any job application, inquire either orally or in writing, receive information through a criminal history background check, or otherwise obtain information about an applicant's criminal record until after the employer initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position.

Once the employer has initially determined that the applicant is otherwise qualified, the employer may inquire into or obtain information about a criminal record.

An employer may not advertise employment openings in a way that excludes people with criminal records from applying. Ads that state "no felons," "no criminal background," or otherwise convey similar messages are prohibited.

An employer may not implement any policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes individuals with a criminal record from consideration prior to an initial determination that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position.

Exemptions
Certain employers are exempt (section: 4) from these prohibitions, including employers who are expressly permitted or required under federal or state law to inquire into or consider information about an applicant's or employee's criminal record for employment purposes.

The law is expected to take effect on June 6, 2018. Additional provisions are contained in the text of the law.


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