Can your employer ask about your criminal past?

Can employers ask about your criminal background?

President Obama signed an executive order today banning Federal employers from asking about applicants about their Criminal past. Studies show that it is highly unlikely that a person convicted of a crime will be offered employment once they admit to a criminal past. As an El Paso employment lawyer I see it time after time that persons with even a minimal criminal background are unable to find a job. If they lie about their criminal past and they are discriminated against and bring a lawsuit the courts have held that their damages are limited by the after acquired evidence doctrine. Once the other side finds out about the criminal past they claim they would have fired the employee and therefore the discriminated employee is not entitled to damages from that point. Texas (including El Paso, Texas) does not protect employees who have. Rims all pasts.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia make up the states where jobs for state employees cannot ask about criminal histories on applications. Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island have eliminated the right of all employers (private or public) to ask about criminal backgrounds. Since 2012 the EEOC has stated that “An employer’s use of an individual’s criminal history in making employment decisions may, in some instances, violate the prohibition against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.”

We will see if there becomes a national law at some point that prohibits or limits employers from asking about past convictions.

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