There are numerous state-level rules and federal regulations that govern how employers may use data derived from a background check in their hiring process. Employers planning to use this New Hampshire state criminal screening should understand these restrictions before proceeding.
On the federal level, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects against discriminatory hiring practices, while the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs how an employer can access and use certain information about an applicant. You can learn more about these restrictions by visiting the backgroundchecks.com Learning Center. All employers in all states are required to comply with these rules.
Beyond those federal background check restrictions, some states go further by implementing their own restrictions on criminal record usage. These additional restrictions may include banning the box laws that prohibit employers from making initial inquiries into criminal histories, restrictions on employers’ ability to consider arrest records as part of the hiring process, and more.
New Hampshire has only one explicit background check restriction in place: Employers in the state may not use convictions or arrests if a state court has chosen to annul the charges. So, if the state has expunged or sealed a candidate’s criminal records, New Hampshire employers are not legally allowed to use those records as grounds to disqualify the candidate from hiring consideration.
That particular rule reaches further into the hiring process than just the background check. Specifically, if an employer wishes to ask questions about criminal history on the job application, they must use the following language: “Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court?” This specific phrasing tells candidates that they do not have to disclose criminal activity that has been expunged or sealed.