Summary of District of Columbia Laws
Fair Criminal Record Screening Act of 2014, D.C. Act 20-422(also known as "Ban the Box" legislation
According the the new legislation, effective Nov. 14, 2014, employers may not require an applicant to disclose or reveal an arrest or a criminal accusation which is not currently pending or which did not result in a conviction. In addition, an employer may only ask about criminal convictions after making a conditional offer of employment. An offer of employment may only be withdrawn after determining there is a legitimate business reason for doing so, in light of the following factors:
• length of time since crime
• specific duties necessarily related to the job in question
• the bearing the crime has on fitness to perform the job being offered
• age of applicant at time of crime
• time elapsed since the crime was committed
• frequency and seriousness of the criminal offense
• information produced by applicant to show rehabilitation or good conduct
If the offer is withdrawn, an applicant who believes he or she has been discriminated against has a right to request copies of all records related to his/her application and consideration for employment and must be given a notice he/she has the opportunity to file a complaint with the Office of Human Rights. There is no private right of action, but the Commission can impose a penalty of up to $5,000.
There is an exception under the law for any facility or employer that provides programs, services or direct care to minors or vulnerable adults. The Employer may continue to require background checks of applicants after the conditional offer of employment. The data should be kept confidential, and if any negative information is received and is then used as the basis for withdrawing an offer, the data must have been reviewed against the factors above.
new page January 2015