Washington adopts “ban the box” – only otherwise qualified applicants can be asked about criminal background
Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Washington Fair Chance Act, which extends “ban the box” protections to the state’s public and private employers (with some limited exceptions).
The law prohibits employers from inquiring orally, having any question on an application, or otherwise obtaining any information about applicant’s criminal record until after the employer initially determines the applicant is otherwise qualified for the job. In other words, employers may not obtain any information about an applicant’s criminal background until after the applicant has had an opportunity to show herself to be qualified. Employers also may not advertise employment in a way to exclude people with criminal records such as by saying “no felons” or “no criminal record.” Washington is the 11th state to adopt background check reform.
For more information on the Washington Fair Chance Act requirements, please contact any member of Ryan Swanson’s Employment, Labor, and Employee Benefits group.
This message has been created by the Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.