Blog

 
     

Michigan Un-Bans the Box

By Michael Klazema on 7/29/2015

The new law protects any person or entity engaging in or intending to engage in a commercial activity, enterprise, or business in the state, except for local governmental bodies or educational institutions. This includes private employers.

As a result of the law, local governmental agencies are prohibited from adopting, enforcing, or administering an ordinance, local policy, or local resolution regulating information an employer or potential employer must request, require, or exclude on an application for employment from an employee or a potential employee. The law does not prohibit an ordinance, local policy, or local resolution requiring a criminal background check for an employee or potential employee in connection with the receipt of a license or permit from a local governmental body or in connection with a voluntary agreement between the employee and the local government.

The state has a law that prohibits private employers from inquiring about misdemeanor arrests, detentions, or dispositions where a conviction did not result in a conviction. (Michigan Complied Laws § 37.2205a). That law remains intact. Additionally, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission considers any ban on hiring based strictly on criminal history to be discriminatory, and discourages employers from asking about criminal history on job applications. Applicable federal law will still prevail over this state law. Therefore, to the extent that federal anti-discrimination laws would prohibit consideration of criminal history, those federal laws remain in effect in Michigan.

Detroit has an ordinance that restricts public contractors working for the city from inquiring about convictions on job applications and prohibits background checks on employees and prospective employees before an interview or before an offer of employment is made (Detroit Municipal Code §§ 13-1-11,12,13). Detroit’s law probably remains in effect due to §15 of the state law which states that a local government can adopt, enforce, or administer an ordinance, local policy, or local resolution that involves a voluntary agreement between an employer and the local governmental body for services provided directly to the local government body. Therefore, a provision in a voluntary agreement with a governmental body may restrict public contractors from conducting background checks before an interview or before an offer of employment is made.

Mississippi is the only other state to pass an un-ban the box law (Senate Bill 2689 (2014)). It went into effect July 1, 2014. Michigan’s law was effective the date it passed on June 30, 2015.

If you have any questions about this new law or any other ban-the-box law, please contact your GIS client relations representative.

What This Means to You:

  • Michigan’s Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act allows employers in the state to ask about criminal history on job applications (except for misdemeanor arrests, detentions, or dispositions that did not result in a conviction).
  • Michigan’s Local Government Labor Regulatory Limitation Act probably does not override Detroit’s restrictions on public contractors’ ability to inquire about convictions and obtain background checks prior to the interview or before an offer of employment is made.
  • Determine if you have any employees in Michigan and in Detroit.
  • If you do, review your employment application and the timing of your background checks with your lawyer to ensure compliance with Michigan’s state laws.

House Bill 4052 is available here for review: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/publicact/pdf/2015-PA-0105.pdf

For more details on the FCRA, EEOC Guidance, various state laws and much more, please visit backgroundchecks.com’s compliance resources and compliance updates archives.


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • 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 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 20 The #MeToo movement is bringing about legislative changes employers need to know about. We review some of the laws recently passed in California.
  • November 19

    Will a criminal conviction show up on your background check forever? In most states, there is a year limit for how long background check companies can report older criminal information.


  • November 15

    Replacing an inconsistent array of procedures, Ontario's government has passed into law a reform act intended to clarify how police departments should handle requests for information to be used in background checks. 


  • November 14 The federal government has vowed to cut its backlog of security clearance background checks in half by spring. Currently, the backlog is approximately 600,000 names strong.
  • November 12 To ensure the best hires, DFWSPF has implemented a stringent employee screening process—one that includes background searches through backgroundchecks.com.