Vermont Bans the Box

By Michael Klazema on 5/6/2016

Under the new law, an employer may inquire about a prospective employee’s criminal history record in an interview or once the prospective employee has been deemed qualified for the position.  The bill takes effect on July 1, 2017.

There are two specific exceptions provided in the law allowing employers to inquire about any criminal convictions on an initial employee form:

  1. The applicant is applying for a position for which any federal or state law or regulation creates a mandatory or presumptive disqualification based on a conviction for one of more type of criminal offenses, and
  2. The employer or an affiliate of the employer is subjected to an obligation imposed by any federal or state law or regulation not to employ individual, in either one or more positions, who have been convicted of one or more types of criminal offenses.

The questions on the application form are limited to the type of criminal offenses creating the disqualification or obligation. If the employer inquires about a prospective employee’s criminal history information, the prospective employee must be afforded the opportunity to explain the information and the circumstances regarding any convictions including post-conviction rehabilitation.

Employers who violate the provisions of this law will be liable for a civil penalty of up to $100 for each violation.

What This Means to You

  • This applies to all employers in Vermont.
  • The new law allows employers to request a prospective employee’s criminal records in an interview or once the applicant is deemed qualified for the job.
  • When requesting the applicant’s criminal history information, the employer must allow the individual to explain the circumstances behind any convictions including post-conviction rehabilitation.
  • Employers who violate this law will be penalized up to $100 for each violation.

House Bill 261 is available here for review:

Industry News

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.

  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.

  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.