Washington Passed the Certificates of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) Bill

By Michael Klazema on 4/11/2016

The state of Washington recently passed a bill creating Certificates of Restoration of Opportunity “CROP”. The certificate is intended to help reduce the barriers to employment for adults and juveniles who have a criminal history. House Bill 1553 identifies the requirements necessary to apply for a CROP along with what the Superior Court must consider when determining whether to issue the certificate.  The bill takes effect on June 9, 2016.

Employers and CROP:
The new law establishes that an applicant may obtain a CROP if:

  1. a sufficient amount of time has passed (based on the nature of the underlying offense);
  2. the applicant has fully complied with any financial terms;
  3. the applicant has never been convicted of certain crimes; and
  4. the applicant has not been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any new offense.

A CROP does not affect any employers’ discretion to individually assess every applicant and to hire the applicants of their choice.

Under Section 3 (3), an employer is immune from suit for damages based upon its exercise of that discretion or the refusal to exercise that discretion. In any action against an employer arising out of the employment of the CROP recipient, the criminal history for which a CROP has been issued may not be introduced as evidence of negligence or intentionally tortious conduct on the part of the employer.

What This Means to You

  • This update applies to all employers in Washington.
  • If a court issues a CROP to an individual, an employer may consider the CROP as evidence of rehabilitation, but the employer is not required to consider the CROP.
  • If an employer hires an individual with a CROP, the employer is immune from suit for damages based on its exercise of discretion about what decision to make on a CROP.
  • Evidence of a criminal history for which a CROP has been issued may not be introduced as evidence in a negligent hiring case.

House Bill 1553 is available here:

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • February 18

    Many hiring decisions are based mostly on candidates’ past work experiences. Here’s how a background check can verify employers to make sure those hiring decisions are grounded in fact.

  • February 14 As more states legalize various forms of marijuana, past marijuana convictions are still causing concern while uncertainty over substances such as CBD drives new arrests. 
  • February 12 A new bill in the New York State legislature could add new requirements for school employee background checks. Currently, private schools are not required to follow state mandates regarding background checks.
  • February 07 Some parents in El Paso, Texas have been left wondering about the strength of their city's youth sports procedures after a felon fraudulently took funds for a girls' soccer team.
  • February 06 If there is one way that volunteer organizations could serve their communities better, it’s implementing more thorough volunteer screening policies.
  • February 05 Madison County, Illinois has created a new initiative designed to help individuals overcome barriers to employment. Clients of the initiative will be able to explore criminal record expungement among other options.
  • February 01 An OfficeTeam survey found that the two most common forms of resume dishonesty had to do with past employers: job experience and job duties or responsibilities.
  • January 31 During the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have gone without work for more than a month. Some are finding temporary alternatives elsewhere.
  • January 29 A Florida nurse has been arrested for allegedly stealing two types of prescription pain medications from the county jail where she worked. The case highlights the importance of rigorous drug testing procedures for employment situations in which employees have access to prescription drugs.
  • January 24 After the airline failed to adequately disclose to applicants that they would undergo a background check, a court has ruled Delta did not meet its legislative obligations. The settlement highlights the importance of rigorous compliance.