09 Nov Connecticut Background Checks What Employers Should Know
Use of Credit Reports
Employers may only request a credit report if such is substantially related to a current job or potential job. This is known as Public Act 11-223. The law cite is Conn. Gen. Stat. §Sec. 31-51tt – (Employer inquiries about an employee’s or prospective employee’s credit.)
Positions where a Credit Report is job Related
The following are positions where a credit report is deemed substantially job related:
1) Any position with a state or federally charted financial institution;
2) A managerial position which involves the direction or control of a unit, division or agency of a business;
3) An employee will have access to personal or financial information of customers, employees or the employer if that information is beyond that presented in a typical retail transaction;
4) An employee has authority to issue payments, transfer money or enter into contracts on behalf of employer;
5) An employee has an expense account, company debit or credit card;
6) An employee has access to confidential/proprietary business information or trade secrets;
7) A credit report is required by law;
8) The employer reasonably believes that the employee has engaged in specific activity that constitutes a violation of law related to employee’s employment;
9) Catch all – the employer has a bona fide purpose for requesting or using information in the credit report that is substantially job related and is disclosed in writing to the employee or applicant.
There exceptions are 1) Entity registered with the Security and Exchange Commission: and 2) Mortgage broker, licensed mortgage lender or mortgage servicing company.
Ban The Box Law
Effective January 1, 2017. Basically this is a pure Ban-the-Box law as it simply prohibits inquiring about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an initial employment application. The law does not contain any guidance as to where or how an employer can pursue the inquiry into criminal records. Evidentially there are no restrictions after the application is completed.
Public Law No. 16-83 was passed June 1, 2016.
There are two exceptions: (1) Employers required to obtain criminal record information by applicable state or federal law; and (2) A job that requires a security or fidelity bond. The new law then becomes confusing because it provides that if an employment application has any question concerning criminal history, an elaborate notice must be provided to the applicant. Does this supersede the prohibition or does this only apply to the two exceptions? This is not spelled out.
Use of Social Media Password Information
Effective October 1, 2015, employers in Connecticut are restricted from requesting or requiring access to the personal online accounts of applicants and employees. A “Personal online account” is defined as any online account used by an employee or applicant exclusively for personal purposes and unrelated to any business purpose of such employee’s or applicant’s employer or prospective employer, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, social media and retail-based Internet web sites.
This law was the result of Senate Bill 426 (Public Act 15-6).
The law does not prohibit an employer from viewing and using publicly available social media information.
Use or inquiry of sealed, expunged, pardoned or erased records
“An employer may not require an employee or applicant to disclose erased records or deny employment because of the existence of an erased record.” This statement must appear on the application form.
See CGSA § 31-51i(b). Any application for employment must state that the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrests, criminal charge or conviction which has been erased pursuant to 46b-146, 54-760 or 54-142(a). CGSA § 31-51i(d).
This material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment.You should review applicable law in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice when determining a course of action or when preparing a form, policy, handbook, agreement or other document for use in your business.