BY JENNIFER L. MORA, PHILIP GORDON, AND MATTHEW CURTIN ON
On June 1, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law that prohibits most employers from requesting criminal history information on an initial employment application. Connecticut’s new “ban-the-box” law follows closely on the heels of similar legislation enacted in Vermont and continues the nationwide ban-the-box trend.1 Indeed, ban-the-box laws have recently been enacted in other jurisdictions, including Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and New York City.2 Connecticut’s ban-the-box law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.
Like many of these other new laws, Connecticut’s ban-the-box law does more than just limit an employer’s ability to inquire about criminal history on the employment application. It also establishes important exceptions to the general prohibition on making such inquiries. The new law prohibits an employer from seeking information about prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions as part of an initial employment application. This prohibition, however, does not apply in two defined situations: (1) when an employer is obligated pursuant to a federal or state law to ask about such criminal history for the position in question; and (2) when a position requires a security, fidelity, or equivalent bond.