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New Law Provides Protection for Construction Workers with Convictions

On January 1 of this year, the Fair Chance Employment Act went into effect. The Fair Chance Employment Act prevents any private contractor who has state contracts from inquiring about criminal convictions on the initial job application. In fact, it requires these employers to remove the conviction history box from job applications entirely. Failure to remove the question could prevent the contractor from obtaining state contracts.

The Act applies to all on-site construction related jobs that fall under the State Contract Act, which includes the erection, construction, alteration, repair, or improvement of any state structure, building, road, or improvement project. The Act is aimed at assisting ex-offenders to find employment. Many individuals who have been released from jail or prison face extreme difficulty finding work because they are frequently denied opportunities based on their conviction, but this Act provides some reprieve. Specifically, the Act will allow a person not to have their conviction considered in the initial application phase. The person has a significantly better opportunity to receive an interview before their conviction is considered or disclosed. As a result, the applicant will have a better opportunity to flout their qualifications and explain their conviction during the interview stage of the application process instead of on the initial application.

However, the Act does not apply if the employer is required to conduct a background check based on state or federal law, or any positions with a criminal justice agency, seaport, or airport. Also, it does not apply to people hired under bona fide collective bargaining agreements.

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Blog

New Law Provides Protection for Construction Workers with Convictions

On January 1 of this year, the Fair Chance Employment Act went into effect. The Fair Chance Employment Act prevents any private contractor who has state contracts from inquiring about criminal convictions on the initial job application. In fact, it requires these employers to remove the conviction history box from job applications entirely. Failure to remove the question could prevent the contractor from obtaining state contracts.

The Act applies to all on-site construction related jobs that fall under the State Contract Act, which includes the erection, construction, alteration, repair, or improvement of any state structure, building, road, or improvement project. The Act is aimed at assisting ex-offenders to find employment. Many individuals who have been released from jail or prison face extreme difficulty finding work because they are frequently denied opportunities based on their conviction, but this Act provides some reprieve. Specifically, the Act will allow a person not to have their conviction considered in the initial application phase. The person has a significantly better opportunity to receive an interview before their conviction is considered or disclosed. As a result, the applicant will have a better opportunity to flout their qualifications and explain their conviction during the interview stage of the application process instead of on the initial application.

However, the Act does not apply if the employer is required to conduct a background check based on state or federal law, or any positions with a criminal justice agency, seaport, or airport. Also, it does not apply to people hired under bona fide collective bargaining agreements.

EmailBookmark/FavoritesShare