Blog

 
     

backgroundchecks.com Legislation and Compliance reminder: Rhode Island Enacts Ban-the-Box Legislation

By Michael Klazema on 8/5/2013

A new law passed by the Rhode Island legislature and approved by the Governor known as “ban the box” takes effect January 1, 2014. The bill eliminates the box on job applications that inquire about prior criminal convictions. It applies to both public and private employers in Rhode Island that employ four or more individuals, or any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer.

Current law in Rhode Island restricts employers from inquiring about arrests. Senate Bill 357 amends Chapter 28-5 of the Rhode Island General Laws entitled “Fair Employment Practices.” With its passage, the bill makes it an “unlawful employment practice” for an employer to inquire about any convictions before the first interview. However, employers may ask an applicant for information about his or her criminal convictions at the first interview or thereafter.

There are two specific exceptions provided in the law allowing employers to inquire about convictions before the first interview. An exception is provided if a federal or state law or regulation creates a disqualification from employment based on a person’s conviction of one or more specified criminal offenses. Another exemption is made if an individual must be bonded for a position and a conviction of one or more specified criminal offenses would disqualify the applicant from obtaining the bond.

Rhode Island joins California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Minnesota, in passing ban-the-box legislation. There are also many cities across the United States that have passed various forms of ban-the-box ordinances. It is a trend we expect to continue.

 

You may access Senate Bill 357 here: http://legiscan.com/RI/text/S0357/id/866828/Rhode_Island-2013-S0357-Comm_Sub.pdf


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.