September 21, 2014

6

Daily Articles

Advertisement

September 19, 2014

September 18, 2014

Illinois Employers Take Note: New Law to Limit When Job Applicant's Criminal Record May Be Considered

On July 19, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a statute that limits when an employer may inquire about and consider a job applicant's criminal record. The law, known as the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (Act), becomes effective on January 1, 2015, and will apply to employers with 15 or more employees in the current or preceding calendar year.

Under the Act, covered employers may not inquire about, consider or require disclosure of an applicant's criminal record or criminal history "until the applicant has been determined qualified for the position and notified that [he or she] has been selected for an interview." If no interview will be conducted, the employer must wait to inquire about, consider or require disclosure of an applicant's criminal record or criminal history "until after a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant."

The Act does not apply in certain limited instances:

  • when federal or state law requires an employer to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions from employment;

  • when a standard fidelity bond or equivalent bond is required and a conviction of one or more specified criminal offenses would disqualify the applicant from obtaining such a bond (in such instances the employer may inquire whether the applicant has ever been convicted of any of those offenses);

  • to employers who employ individuals licensed under the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act.

As a result of the Act being signed into law, employers hiring for positions in Illinois should carefully review their employment applications and hiring practices before December 31, 2014.

©2014 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Nineveh Alkhas, Labor Employment Attorney, Katten Muchin Law Firm
Special Counsel

Nineveh Alkhas counsels and represents employers in various labor and employment-related matters. She advises executives and human resources professionals on a daily basis in matters involving equal opportunity practices and policies, pre-employment inquiries, background checks, drug testing, hiring, independent contractor status, employment classifications, training, leaves of absence, discipline, individual and group separations, employment-related agreements including non-compete agreements, employee handbooks and policies.

312-902-5531
Julie L. Gottshall, Employment Law Attorney, Katten Muchin Law Firm
Partner

Julie L. Gottshall serves as the Chicago head of the Employment Law and Litigation practice. She practices nationally in the area of employment law, providing litigation representation and counseling on behalf of management. Julie assists employers in matters arising under federal, state and local employment laws, including Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), the Illinois...

312-902-5645
Laura D. Waller, Litigation Attorney, Katten Muchin Law Firm
Staff Attorney

Laura D. Waller concentrates her practice in litigation and dispute resolution with an emphasis on employment matters. She represents companies in federal and state courts and administrative agencies on claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, wrongful discharge, violation of restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duties, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract. Laura also provides employers with day-to-day preventive counseling and strategic solutions with regard to pre-employment inquiries, hiring, discipline,...

312-902-5291