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Vermont has joined other states, cities, and counties in restricting inquiries on employment applications regarding criminal convictions except where specifically allowed by federal or state mandate.

As a reminder, Vermont Ban the Box took effect on July 1, 2017. An employer or employment agency may not inquire about, consider, or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant until the first interview or once the prospective employee has been deemed otherwise qualified for the position.

Vermont Ban the Box – H.261

Currently, over 150 cities and counties, as well as several states have “ban the box” legislation either passed or ‘on the books’. We caution employers to be aware of their own state/city legislation in this area. 

As previously reported, here are some recommended best practices:

What Can Employers Ask About Criminal History?

  • Guidance recommends not asking about arrest or convictions on job applications
  • Only ask about convictions relevant to a specific job
  • Ask later in the process as a “questionnaire”
  • Ask during the interview
  • Ask after conditional offer – consider allowing applicant to provide additional information on criminal history questionnaire related to individualized assessment

Process Recommendation:

  • Process the conviction question and individualized assessment when making a conditional offer and through an electronic request for a background check. Through the Aurico “Candidate Invitation” functionality clients can manage this process with a compliant, attorney reviewed criminal questionnaire that includes an individualized assessment. Please contact Aurico for additional information regarding this feature.

If you would like additional information you can also visit the National Employment Law Project (NELP) website.

Courtesy of our friends at Aurico

NOTE: This is for informational purposes only.  Nothing presented in this blog is intended or should be construed as legal advice. You should always seek the advice of your own legal counsel.