To foster fair employment practices, many states supplement federal laws (such as Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act) with additional restrictions on the use of criminal records. Nevada is among those that institute further restrictions on businesses in the name of fairness. Here is a quick summary of what employers should know.
Ban the Box
As of January 2018, public employers in Nevada must adhere to the state’s ban the box law. Inquiries into criminal history information must not be completed until an offer of employment is made or a final interview takes place. The law further mandates employers consider EEOC hiring criteria to provide a fair chance to potential hires with a record. The Nevada Equal Rights Commission received enforcement powers under the new law and can provide complainants with recourse if an adverse decision is made against them.
State law does not prohibit employers from asking about arrest records or using them to make an adverse employment decision. However, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission cautions against even asking about these records. Nevada does not make arrest data publicly available and hiring choices based on arrests alone could place an employer on an unsteady legal footing.
Employers may ask for and consider information concerning felony convictions, but employers should consider including language to inform applicants that convictions are not automatic disqualifications. Employers may consider misdemeanors within state-specific time frames that vary by offense.
Nevada does not allow employers to use information obtained from the state’s sex offender registry to make hiring decisions. Additionally, employers may not demand employees or applicants agree to submit a credit report. Only if the individual in question falls into an exempted category, such as those who process the personal information of others, may an employer request a credit report.