Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act

Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act: Ban the Box in Illinois

Due to the velocity of business, companies need to be up-to-date on the latest industry news to remain competitive. Perhaps more importantly, businesses are also required to stay abreast of changes in legislation. Legal changes that apply to the state, country, or other specific regulations for the company can seem overwhelming. Legislation is progressive and therefore, always changing our work environments. Businesses that operate across several states often yield to the least common denominator when it comes to designing applications and obeying regulations.

Many states are now adopting a law to ‘Ban the Box’ – that is, the box regularly found on employment applications that asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime. Illinois will be the newest state to join the trend in the near future, following the lead of other states and cities such as: Massachusetts; Minnesota; Rhode Island; Hawaii; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Seattle, Baltimore; Newark and Buffalo. This list may not be all-inclusive and one should also note that different geographic areas often have their own specific version of the legislation to ‘Ban the Box.’

Qualified Applicants Act – Ban The Box

Effective January 1, 2015, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act will prohibit Illinois employers from pre-screening candidates based on their criminal history. The law requires that applicants not be asked about criminal offenses until the interview stage of the hiring process. Full details, including exceptions to the rule, can be found by clicking the link above.

At ExactHire, we recommend our clients take care to be aware of the state requirements for the states in which they hire. This may mean that multi-state companies opt to avoid issues by removing any criminal history questions from their applications (unless of course they are required to include them for the position and meet the exceptions listed in their specific governing body’s legislation). However, the best course of action is to always check with your employment law attorney for legal counsel on how to word employment application questions for your areas of operation. This recommendation is also encouraged for employers that use electronic job listings that can be viewed nationwide.

ExactHire’s HireCentric applicant tracking software allows employers the ability to have different employment applications for use with jobs that are listed in different states, if desired. For more information about our customizable employment applications, please view our video demo or contact us today.

Image credit: Springfield Illinois Statehouse Dome by LongitudeLatitude (contact)

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