Washington Fair Chance Act
Washington State is the most recent to enact a Ban the Box law.
Washington State is the most recent to enact a Ban the Box law. The Washington Fair Chance Act, signed into law on March 13th, effective as of June 7, 2018, prohibits employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is determined otherwise qualified for a position. This Act applies to public agencies, private individuals, businesses, corporations, temporary staffing agencies, training and apprenticeship programs, job placement, referral and employment agencies. What this means is an employer may not include any questions of any application for employment, inquire either orally or in writing, receiving information through a criminal history background check or otherwise obtain information about an applicant’s criminal record until after the employer initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. Once the employer has determined the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position, the employer may inquire into or obtain information about a criminal record. In addition, an employer may not advertise employment openings in a way that excludes people with criminal records from applying and may not implement any policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes individuals with a criminal record.
This Act does not apply if a person being hired will or may have unsupervised access to children under the age of 18, a vulnerable adult as defined in RCW 74.34 or a vulnerable person as defined in RCW 9.96A.060. Employers excluded from this are employers expressly permitted or required to consider an applicant’s criminal record, employers seeking a nonemployee volunteer, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.
Maximum penalties for violations of this act are a notice of violation and offer of agency assistance for the first violation; a monetary penalty of up to $750.00 for the second violation; and a monetary penalty of up to $1,000.00 for each subsequent violation.