Criminal Record Restrictions
What may be reported on a Delaware criminal history search?
Jurisdiction where record is recorded
Degree of offense, like misdemeanor
Delaware keeps several rules and restrictions on the books governing the ways employers across the state can access criminal information as a component of their search for new hires. Among these are ban the box laws. To help you navigate the rules in place, consider the following primary limitations on a background check in Delaware.
Businesses are not permitted to order or use state records concerning an individual's prior arrests in any circumstances.
While arrests are off-limits, Delaware does not prohibit employers from asking about conviction information. This information is permissible for use in making employment decisions. Notably, it is legal for employers to ask applicants about records under seal. Only convictions expunged from an individual’s records are exempt from this authority.
Ban the Box
As of 2014, Delaware law stipulates public employers across the entire state, including the state government, county-level governments, and cities, may consider neither criminal histories nor credit information until after the applicant has completed an initial interview. Police departments and some other services are exempt from this law. All other public employers who choose to consider a criminal record must do so considering three factors:
The type of offense committed
The age of the criminal record
Its overall relevance to the job and its duties
In New Castle County, background checks for municipal positions are only permissible after offering applicants a job. A similar law exists in the major city of Wilmington, as the city chose to ban the box via executive order in 2012.
General laws set out in the Civil Rights Act and the FCRA apply in Delaware as they do across the country. Outside of the restrictions mentioned above, Delaware does not further prohibit employers from considering information such as credit histories. Some jobs, such as those involving public safety, may even require a background check as a component of employment. Delaware's fingerprints-only restriction is meant to ensure background checks cannot be ordered on individuals in the state without their knowledge and consent.