Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act - Illinois Statute in the Spotlight
Illinois has recently enacted the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, which takes effect January 1, 2015. Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, Public Act 98-0774 (West 2014). The Act prohibits employers from conducting inquiries into or requiring disclosure of applicants' criminal backgrounds until notifying the applicant he or she has been deemed qualified for the job and an opportunity to interview or conditional offer of employment is communicated. Id. at § 15(a). Employers may, however, notify applicants, in writing, of the specific offenses that will disqualify them from consideration pursuant to federal law, state law, or the employer's policy. Id. at § 15(c). Employers are exempt from the Act where: (1) employers are required to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions pursuant to federal or state law, (2) a standard fidelity bond or equivalent bond is required for the position and an applicant's conviction would make him or her ineligible for such a bond, and (3) employers employ individuals under the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act. Id. at §15(b).