Colorado becomes the 13th State to “Ban the Box” – Prohibiting Employers from Inquiring about Criminal Convictions on Initial Employment Applications

Colorado employers should review and, if necessary, revise job applications to remove questions about criminal history.

Colorado has joined a growing number of states and municipalities to pass “ban the box” laws, which prohibit employers from asking job applicants about criminal convictions on job applications. The law takes effect on September 1, 2019, for employers with 11 or more employees, and on September 1, 2021, for all employers. The law prohibits employers from:

  1. Advertising that a person with a criminal history may not apply
  2. Saying on an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply
  3. Inquiring about criminal history on an initial application

There are several exceptions. For example, when another law requires criminal history checks for a particular job; the employer is participating in a program to hire ex-offenders. The state Department of Labor & Employment is responsible for enforcement, and job applicants who believe they have been improperly asked about criminal history cannot sue privately.

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HR Headaches is a blog for Human Resources professionals, business owners, and in-house counsel to get the latest news, analysis and tips in the area of labor and employment law. Every day there are new court decisions, agency interpretations, and regulations which affect the workplace, making it difficult, if not impossible, for many employers to keep current. HR Headaches is dedicated to providing information in a practical, no-nonsense manner to help employers avoid legal disputes and keep policies up to date.
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