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Connecticut's New Requirement Related To Inquiries About Criminal Histories Of Job Applicants

August 2002

Authors: Gary S. Starr

Connecticut has adopted a new requirement related to inquiries about criminal histories of job applicants as well as how such information is maintained. Starting October 1, 2002, any job application that asks an applicant about his/her past criminal record, whether an arrest or conviction, will require an explanation that there is certain information about an applicant's criminal background that need not be disclosed. In particular, the statute requires language on the job application:

(1) That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased under Connecticut law;

(2) That the criminal records subject to erasure under Connecticut law are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon; and

(3) That any person whose criminal records have been erased under Connecticut law shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the Connecticut General Statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.

As a result, your job application must be reviewed and modified to add this disclaimer.

In addition, the statute specifies who can have access to this information. The law restricts access to criminal histories to members of the personnel department or the person interviewing the applicant. The law is written in such a way that after a person is hired, the information about the criminal history of that person cannot be reviewed by other persons, including future supervisors or managers.

If you have any specific questions or would like to discuss this development, please contact me or any member of the Employment Litigation Practice at Shipman & Goodwin LLP.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice, since legal advice is dependent upon the facts and circumstances of particular cases. If you have a question about how this article may apply to you or your organization, please contact one of the attorneys in our Employment Litigation Practice.

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