Closeup of male hand pointing where to sign a contractIf you have not already done your “Ban the Box” revisions to your initial employment application paperwork there is still time, but do not delay!  Effective January 1, 2017 Connecticut prohibits employers from asking about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an initial employment application unless: (1) the employer must do so under state or federal law, or (2) the prospective employee is applying for a position for which the employer must obtain a security or fidelity bond or the equivalent.  The failure to comply comes with a potential cost as violators can be fined $300 per violation by the Department of Labor.

After the initial hiring step, you can ask about criminal records, but must do so recognizing that the restrictions that existed before now apply at the next step in the hiring process.  That means that you may not require an employee or job applicant to disclose an arrest, criminal charge, or conviction, the records of which have been erased under certain conditions or where the employee has received a provisional pardon or certificate of rehabilitation. It also requires you to comply with certain requirements related to the confidentiality of a job application’s criminal history section.

Our advice – be sure your initial employment application will “ban the box” by January 1, 2017.  After that stage of your application process you can ask about criminal convictions, but you must still advise applicants they are not required to disclose an arrest, criminal charge, or conviction of which the records have been erased under certain conditions.