On August 22, 2014, the District of Columbia Council enacted the “Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014,” a ban-the-box legislation that applies to private employers in the District with more than ten employees. The law will take effect following a 30-day period of Congressional review. Currently, ban-the-box laws affect more than 50 cities and 10 states.
What Employers Need to Know
--Whether the offense will have any impact on the applicant’s ability to perform the duties related to the employment sought;
--The time that has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense;
--The frequency and seriousness of the criminal offense; and
--Any information produced by the applicant, or on behalf of the applicant, that relates to rehabilitation and good conduct since the occurrence of the criminal offense.
Unlike other recent ban-the-box legislation, the D.C. law does not provide an applicant with the ability to privately take action against an employer he/she feels has violated the terms of this legislation. Instead, if an offer of employment is withdrawn, the applicant has 30 days to request a Statement of Denial detailing the reasoning behind the withdrawal. If there is evidence of discrimination, the applicant could file an administrative complaint with the Office of Human Rights.
• Review your organization’s policies and procedures, including your application for questions relating to criminal history, guidelines and documentation for your hiring process, and your pre-adverse action process to ensure your compliance with the changing laws.