Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 5237

    February Session, 2016

 

*_____HB05237LAB___031416____*

AN ACT CONCERNING FAIR CHANCE EMPLOYMENT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 31-51i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) For the purposes of this section, "employer" means any person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state or any political subdivision of the state.

(b) No employer or employer's agent, representative or designee may require an employee or prospective employee 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.

(c) An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant and is permissible pursuant to subsection (i) or subsection (l) of this section shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language: (1) 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, (2) 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 (3) 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.

(d) [No] Except for a position for which any provision of the general statutes specifically disqualifies a person from employment by an employer because of a prior conviction for a crime, no employer or employer's agent, representative or designee shall deny employment to a prospective employee solely on the basis that the prospective employee had (1) a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a, (2) a prior conviction for a misdemeanor if five years have elapsed from the prospective employee's date of release from the custody of the Commissioner of Correction, (3) a prior conviction for a felony if ten years have elapsed from the prospective employee's date of release from the custody of the Commissioner of Correction, or [that the prospective employee had] (4) a prior conviction for which the prospective employee has received a provisional pardon or certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-130a, or a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-108f.

(e) [No] Except for a position for which any provision of the general statutes specifically disqualifies a person from employment by an employer because of a prior conviction for a crime, no employer or employer's agent, representative or designee shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, or in any manner discriminate against, any employee solely on the basis that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, (1) an arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a, (2) a prior conviction for a misdemeanor if five years have elapsed from the employee's date of release from the custody of the Commissioner of Correction, (3) a prior conviction for a felony if ten years have elapsed from the employee's date of release from the custody of the Commissioner of Correction, or [that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer,] (4) a prior conviction for which the employee has received a provisional pardon or certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-130a, or a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-108f.

(f) [The] Any portion of an employment application form [which] that contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee and is permissible pursuant to subsection (i) or subsection (l) of this section 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.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, [the] any portion of an employment application form [which] that contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee and is permissible pursuant to subsection (i) or subsection (l) of this section may be made available as necessary to persons other than those specified in said subsection (f) by:

(1) A broker-dealer or investment adviser registered under chapter 672a in connection with (A) the possible or actual filing of, or the collection or retention of information contained in, a form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, (B) the compliance responsibilities of such broker-dealer or investment adviser under state or federal law, or (C) the applicable rules of self-regulatory organizations promulgated in accordance with federal law;

(2) An insured depository institution in connection with (A) the management of risks related to safety and soundness, security or privacy of such institution, (B) any waiver that may possibly or actually be sought by such institution pursuant to section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 USC 1829(a), (C) the possible or actual obtaining by such institution of any security or fidelity bond, or (D) the compliance responsibilities of such institution under state or federal law; and

(3) An insurance producer licensed under chapter 701a in connection with (A) the management of risks related to security or privacy of such insurance producer, or (B) the compliance responsibilities of such insurance producer under state or federal law.

(h) (1) For the purposes of this subsection: (A) "Consumer reporting agency" means any person who regularly engages, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or preparing consumer reports for a fee, which reports compile and report items of information on consumers that are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer's ability to obtain employment, but does not include any public agency; (B) "consumer report" means any written, oral or other communication of information bearing on an individual's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living; and (C) "criminal matters of public record" means information obtained from the Judicial Department relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, outstanding judgments, and any other conviction information, as defined in section 54-142g.

(2) Each consumer reporting agency that issues a consumer report that is used or is expected to be used for employment purposes and that includes in such report criminal matters of public record concerning the consumer shall:

(A) At the time the consumer reporting agency issues such consumer report to a person other than the consumer who is the subject of the report, provide the consumer who is the subject of the consumer report (i) notice that the consumer reporting agency is reporting criminal matters of public record, and (ii) the name and address of the person to whom such consumer report is being issued;

(B) Maintain procedures designed to ensure that any criminal matter of public record reported is complete and up-to-date as of the date the consumer report is issued, which procedures shall, at a minimum, conform to the requirements set forth in section 54-142e.

(3) This subsection shall not apply in the case of an agency or department of the United States government seeking to obtain and use a consumer report for employment purposes if the head of the agency or department makes a written finding pursuant to 15 USC 1681b(b)(4)(A).

(i) (1) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, no employer or employer's agent, representative or designee may require any employee or prospective employee to complete an employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant until such time as such employer, agent, representative or designee has made a conditional offer of employment to such applicant. For purposes of this subsection, a "conditional offer of employment" means an employer's offer of employment that is contingent upon an employee's or prospective employee's successful completion of an employer's application process which may include, but need not be limited to, drug testing, a criminal history records check or the production of valid licensure necessary for such employment.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, an employer may require (A) any current or prospective correction officer, (B) any current or prospective judicial marshal, state marshal, juvenile or adult probation officer, juvenile detention officer or investigator employed by or seeking employment with the Division of Criminal Justice, (C) any member or prospective member of (i) a state or municipal police force, (ii) the police force for the constituent units of the state system of higher education or the independent institutions of higher education in this state, (iii) the police force of Bradley International Airport, or (iv) the Office of the State Capitol Police, or (D) any employee or prospective employee of (i) a broker-dealer or investment adviser registered under chapter 672a, (ii) an insured depository institution, or (iii) an insurance producer licensed under chapter 701a, as described in subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of subsection (g) of this section, to complete an employment application form that contains questions concerning the applicant's criminal history.

(j) Any employee or prospective employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner alleging violations of subsection (i) of this section. Upon receipt of the complaint, the commissioner shall investigate such complaint and may hold a hearing. After the hearing, the commissioner shall send each party a written copy of the commissioner's decision. Any employee or prospective employee who prevails in such hearing shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

(k) Any party aggrieved by the decision of the commissioner may appeal the decision to the Superior Court in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(l) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) to (i), inclusive, of this section an employer may require an employee or prospective employee to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction if such disclosure is required under any applicable state or federal law.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2016

31-51i

LAB

Joint Favorable Subst.