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Ban the Box Continues to Gain Favor with Illinois Now Joining the Movement

Recently, we wrote about New Jersey joining the “Ban the Box” movement, which is an effort to limit employer inquiries about criminal history during the hiring process.  Illinois is yet another state to join the crusade.

The Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act was signed into law in Illinois in July 2014, and will take effect on January 1, 2015.  The law will impact private sector employers employing 15 or more employees “in the current or preceding year.”   In addition, employment agencies and their agents are specifically covered under the Act.  The new law states that no inquiry into, consideration of, or request for disclosure of “the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant until the applicant has been determined qualified for the position and notified that that the applicant has been selected for an interview… or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made….”

Like other “Ban the Box” laws, there are exceptions, including those for certain positions or as required by law.  Additionally, there are penalties for violations ranging from a written warning to fines.  Illinois also permits additional fines for uncured violations.

If you do business in Illinois or you are an employment agency placing candidates in Illinois, you should consult with legal counsel to ensure you are complying with all of the relevant laws.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.