Governor Polis signed into law new legislation which prohibits employers from asking about criminal history on job applications. The “Ban the Box” law prohibits employers with 11 or more employees from asking if prospective employees have a criminal conviction beginning in September 2019. The law takes effect for all employers beginning in September 2021.
The law also bans Colorado employers from advertising or stating that individuals with criminal histories cannot apply for certain positions. The law is aimed at rehabilitating those with a criminal background who have answered for their crimes and want to reintegrate into society and find gainful employment. The law does not prohibit employers from running criminal background checks once an offer is extended to an employee. The law also exempts employers who have a bona fide requirement for excluding those with a criminal background.
Prospective employees who encounter violations can file complaints with the Colorado Department of Labor. Employers who do not comply can face fines of up to $2,500.
Momentum has grown over the years to “Ban the Box,” giving individuals with past convictions the chance to gain employment without the stigma of a criminal record. 35 states have adopted this policy, with 13 states (including Colorado) removing conviction history questions for applications in the private sector.
Now is the time to prepare your company for this change, as it goes into effect in less than six weeks. If you’re looking for guidance in employment law, our professional law firm in Greeley and Erie is here to help. Peek Goldstone, LLC is proud to be Northern Colorado’s trusted legal team, specializing in family law, DUI defense, estate planning, employment law, and more. No matter your needs, our team provides the experience and expertise required to navigate the complexities of our legal system. Contact us today to begin!