May 21, 2019

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Illinois and Chicago “Ban the Box” Laws Take Effect

Illinois’ and Chicago’s “ban the box” laws took effect on January 1.  Both laws prohibit private employers from making criminal inquiries until after an applicant has been notified of his or her selection for an interview (where the employer does not conduct an interview, it must wait until after making a conditional offer).  The two laws also contain similar exceptions and penalties.

interviewThe city ordinance does go two steps further than its state counterpart.  First, while the Illinois law only applies to private employers with fifteen or more employees, the Chicago ordinance covers all private businesses in the city.  Second, where an employer “makes a decision not to hire an applicant based, entirely or partially, on the applicant’s criminal history,” the Chicago ordinance expressly requires the employer to “inform the applicant of this basis at the time he is informed of the decision.”

This is not the first time that both Illinois and Chicago have regulated the hiring process.  A few years ago, both the state and city prohibited (with exceptions) employers from inquiring into or otherwise considering credit history in hiring and personnel decisions.

© 2019 Proskauer Rose LLP.

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About this Author

Nigel F Telman, Labor Employment Attorney, Prosauker Law Firm
Partner

Nigel F. Telman leads the employment practice in the Chicago office and is co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Nigel's practice is concentrated in litigating single and class action disputes arising out of claims of workplace harassment and employment discrimination. He also represents employers in collective and class actions involving allegations of wage and hour violations under federal and state law. In addition, Nigel has significant experience defending and enforcing Restrictive Covenant Agreements, as well as...

312-962-3548
Daniel L Saperstein, Proskauer Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney
Associate

Daniel L. Saperstein is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department, resident in the Newark office. He is a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration, Labor-Management Relations, Employment Law Counseling & Training, International Labor & Employment, and Whistleblower & Retaliation Groups, as well as the Dodd-Frank Task Force.

973-274-3272