On September 1, 2019, Colorado’s ban-the-box law will take effect, essentially removing job barriers for individuals with criminal records and giving them an opportunity to get hired in the state. Additionally, the law will protect employers who hire people with criminal histories.
In the past, employers were required to ask whether a prospective employee has a criminal history. Now, employers any not ask about an applicant’s criminal record on the initial application, but they can inquire about criminal activities
The following are other provisions of the ban-the-box law:
- Colorado employers are prohibited from advertising or addressing in employment applications that individuals with criminal histories may not apply for a job.
- Colorado employers are prohibited from requesting job applicants to disclose their criminal records in the initial application.
- Colorado employers are protected from these provisions if the law restricts hiring individuals with a specific criminal record, the law requires a criminal background check for a specific position, or the employer wishes to specifically hire those with criminal records.
- Colorado employers can still check criminal histories on public databases at any time; however, making employment decisions based on those searches could lead to breaking workplace protection laws.
- The Colorado Department of Labor is responsible for investigating reported violations and penalizing violating employers, which means applicants cannot take their own legal action.
This legislation applies employers with 11 or more employees. On September 1, 2021, it will be applicable to all employers.