A new Illinois law prohibits employers from inquiring into a prospective employee’s criminal background on its application or during the early stages of application review.
Beginning January 1, 2015, any private employer with over 15 employees will be banned from inquiring about a job applicant's criminal record or criminal history until after the potential employee has been determined qualified for the position and notified that he or she has been selected for an interview or, if there is no interview, until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended to the prospective employee.
The new law also exempts certain positions from coverage, such as where:
- Federal or state laws prohibits employment of individual with certain convictions.
- Specified criminal convictions would disqualify from obtaining a bond.
- Employers licensed under the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Systems Act.
The Illinois Department of Labor can investigate any alleged violations and impose civil penalties ranging from a written warning, for a first violation, up to $1,500 for a repeated violation or a failure to rectify an earlier violation.
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