Continuing the weekly series of basic (but perhaps not as widely-known) employment laws in Connecticut, this week’s topic focuses on the job application.
Connecticut has an unusual law that prohibits employers from asking about any arrest, criminal charge or conviction that has been erased.
Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-51i goes one step further too. It requires that certain language be used on the job application form to notify employees of this statute.
If an employer asks information about an applicant’s criminal history (and it should definitely consider doing so), it must list the following in "clear and conspicuous language":
- That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a,
- That criminal records subject to erasure pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon, and
- That any person whose criminal records have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.
One overlooked portion of the statute is Conn. Gen. Stat. 31-51i(f) which requires that access to the portion of an employment application form which contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee be restricted.
Specifically, it "shall only be available to the members of the personnel department of the company, firm or corporation or, if the company, firm or corporation does not have a personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and to any employee or member of the company, firm or corporation, or an agent of such employee or member, involved in the interviewing of the applicant."
(Note that some financial institutions are still allowed to look at this information on the applicants, pursuant to an exception to this rule.)
Thus, in the dog days of summer, employers can continue to use this time to make sure that forms like job applications contain the most up-to-date information.