The Washington Fair Chance Act, a new body of the employment law passed by the State legislature earlier this year, becomes effective June 6. The Act aims to encourage employers to consider all job applicants, regardless of criminal history. The act does not prohibit employers from inquiring about criminal history. But it does delay when employers may make such inquiries.
In particular, the Act prohibits employers from including questions on an application (hence, “ban-the-box”) or otherwise inquire about criminal history until after the employer first determines whether the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. Additionally, employers may not advertise job openings or implement policies or practices that categorically exclude applicants with a criminal record.
There are a few employers to whom the act does not apply, such as an employer hiring a person who will have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults.
Contact Jordan Stephens to ensure your employment practices and policies are consistent with the requirements of the Washington Fair Chance Act.