The City of Chicago recently amended its “ban-the-box” ordinance. This amendment will affect how employers within the city may conduct criminal record screening. According to the updated regulation, employers must perform individualized assessments for each applicant. They must also provide pre- and final adverse action notices based on certain requirements.
Under Chicago’s amendments to Municipal Code Titles 2, 4, and 6, employers must adhere to several new ban-the-box requirements. First, the amendments prohibit the use of arrest records “as a basis to refuse to hire, to segregate, or to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges, or conditions of employment.”
Furthermore, these regulations prohibit an employer from taking adverse action based on an individual’s criminal record. However, the amendment has provided exceptions. For example, employers may do so after determining an acceptable reason based on the results of an individualized assessment. Details of the example include:
The law also defined what determined a substantial relationship. According to it, employers must consider whether the position presents an opportunity for the individual to commit a similar offense. They must also determine whether the circumstances that led to the conviction in question apply to the desired position.
In performing the individualized assessment, the law requires employers to consider factors such as the following::
Should the employer take adverse action based on these results, they must provide a pre-adverse action notice. This notice must contain the following:
Should the employer proceed with an adverse action after receiving and considering the applicant’s response, they must provide a final adverse action notice. This notice must contain the following:
Chicago’s existing ban-the-box legislation has seen significant changes that have already taken effect. As such, employers should review and revise their existing screening policies to ensure compliance with these regulations. One of the best ways to get started is to partner with an experienced screening provider that can help.
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