Ban-The-Box and Employee Background Checks

Ban-The-Box and Employee Background Checks

Illinois has joined the growing list of states with expanded ban-the-box laws. At this point, roughly three-quarters of Americans live under a jurisdiction with some form of ban-the-box law. 

Originally these laws only restricted the point in the hiring process or extent to which background checks could be used in the hiring process. However, within the last few years, several states and localities have established particularly restrictive forms of these laws.

Illinois has enacted its new rule in amendment SB1480 to the Illinois Human Rights Act. This new law is very similar to ban-the-box laws enacted in other states recently. For many employers in regions that have yet to enact similar legislation, this is likely an early look at what is soon to come.

This new rule enacted by SB1480 makes it a violation of civil rights to consider an applicant’s criminal history except when it can demonstrate:

  • There is a substantial relationship between prior offenses and the job in question or:
  • That continued or establishing employment creates a risk that is unreasonable either to property or the welfare of particular individuals or the general public

After choosing to take adverse action, an employer must provide written notification, including notice of the specific incident that caused the decision, a copy of the report, and a notice of their right to respond and challenge the decision and report within five days.

These rules are extremely similar in substance to those now being established across the country. Even for those currently without such laws in place, employers would be advised to consider following similar protocols to avoid the risk of litigation.

With this in mind, it is more important than ever before to find an employment screening provider you can trust to keep on top of the ever-shifting landscape of laws governing background checks. This can help avoid your business joining the ever-growing list of companies facing employment discrimination claims.