Employers in Kansas should be aware of several laws, regulations, local ordinances, and recommendations that may impact how they use consider criminal history information in hiring decisions. We have included a few tidbits to review before ordering a state background check in Kansas.
Unlike many other states, Kansas permits employers to inquire about arrest records and use arrest history information in their hiring decisions. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation does not make arrest records available to employers, and this background check from the Kansas state repository will not include any details about arrests that did not lead to convictions. However, state law holds arrest records are relevant to hiring decisions, as they may help an employer determine how trustworthy a candidate is or whether they pose a threat to customers or other employees.
A Kansas Bureau of Investigation background check will report any criminal conviction records the subject of your search may have. As an employer, you are permitted by law to ask job candidates about any convictions reported through this search. You can use conviction data when making decisions about hiring in the same way you can consider arrest information.
Kansas Human Rights Commission Guidance
While state law permits Kansas employers to inquire about and weigh arrests or convictions at will, the Kansas Human Rights Commission has issued several recommendations on the subject. On the topic of arrest records, the Human Rights Commission advises employers not to ask about arrest history during a pre-employment screening; arrests are not proof of guilt and cannot provide any verified insight about a candidate or their character. Regarding conviction data, the Human Rights Commission recommends employers only consider criminal convictions expressly related to the duties of the job at hand.
While these recommendations are not laws, they align with guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Failure to heed this guidance could result in legal trouble with the Kansas Human Rights Commission or the EEOC.
Job candidates and employees in Kansas have the right to withhold information about any arrests or convictions that have been expunged from the public record. Employers are not allowed to ask about expunged criminal history. This background check of Kansas records should not include any data that has been legally expunged.
Ban the Box
Kansas has not been a regular adopter of ban the box legislation. There is no statewide policy in place, and only four jurisdictions (Johnson County, Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita) have passed local laws on the subject. Each of these jurisdictions only bans the box for public jobs, which means private employers do not need to remove criminal history questions from their job applications. New ban the box policies are constantly being introduced, which means it is in the best interest of all employers to keep an eye on the latest legislative activity in their cities and counties as well as statewide developments.