On November 1, 2013 Seattle will officially join the list of cities which have decided to restrict the use of arrest and conviction records when looking for potential employees. The city joins Buffalo, Philadelphia and Newark, as well as the states of Massachusetts, Minnesota and Hawaii in “banning the box” for private employers. Some jurisdictions have “banned the box” for public employers and contractors and the U.S. Congress even has a type of “ban the box” legislation pending. The new policy is extensive, as the term “employer” refers to any person with one or more employees, or any person acting in the interest of the employer. The term also applies to job placement, referral and employment agencies. The new ordinance refers to an “employee” as anyone who performs any services for an employer, when the physical location of those services is 50% or more of the time, within the City. The ordinance also protects “job applicants”, defined as anyone who is in any way a prospect as an “employee.” The primary goal of the ordinance is to prevent employers from automatically excluding a prospective employee based solely on the basis of his or her arrest or conviction record, if their job is to be performed, at least 50% of the time, within the City of Seattle. Employers are allowed to perform a criminal background check or require a job applicant to disclose their criminal history after an initial screening of applications or resumes has been conducted by the employer. Employers must also refrain from asking questions concerning arrests, pending criminal charges and/or convictions in the initial application process. Even after a screening of applications or resumes, employers must offer a “legitimate business reason” before taking an adverse action based on an applicant’s criminal history. Employers who violate the ordinance are subject to a notice of the infraction and an offer of assistance from the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (the “Agency”). For the second infraction, the employer is required to pay a penalty up to $750 to the aggrieved employee, and the penalty increases to $1000 for the third violation. Employers in Seattle and other “ban the box” locations should determine whether conviction records are considered in a manner that is job-related, train hiring managers on the appropriate use of criminal history in hiring and keep all information about applicant’s and employee’s criminal records confidential.

Seattle Employee Rights Lawyer

Employee rights are constantly in danger. If you or someone you love has experienced employee discrimination, wrongful termination, or any violation of their employee rights in Seattle, Bellevue, or anywhere in the State of Washington, call Phillips Law Firm at 1-800-708-6000. Our Washington employee rights lawyers are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.