More employers have been using background checks as a means to filter out
anyone they may feel won’t be a desirable employee. If you are convicted
of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, a potential
employer will be able to see it if they conduct a background check as
part of your application.
Some companies may not care about a DUI conviction in particular, but others
will see any crime as a mark of irresponsibility. However, people applying
for jobs involving driving will have a much harder time if they have a
DUI on their criminal record. If you lost your commercial driver’s
license (CDL) at one point early in your career, your new employer might
decide to go with the driver that doesn’t have a CDL disqualification
on their record.
Both state and federal laws regulate the power of background checks. The
federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) applies to all states and prohibits
the reporting of criminal arrests after a period of seven years. Criminal
convictions, on the other hand, must be reported indefinitely. So if you
were arrested for, but never convicted of, a DUI, you should be safe from
discrimination based on your criminal background check. These restrictions
only apply to jobs with a yearly salary of $75,000 or less, however.
Likewise, federal courts have also ruled Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 prevents employers from barring employment of people with
criminal convictions unless they can give a compelling reason for doing so.
Connecticut recently passed a law that protects people with criminal records
from employment discrimination. It passed a “ban-the-box”
law to prevent applicants with a criminal record from being automatically
rejected from a job. It went into effect January 1, 2017, and prevented
employers of all sizes from asking applicants about their criminal history
on initial applications for employment. They can, however, ask you about
your criminal history at any other point in the hiring process, such as
during the interview.
This law has only two exceptions. An employer can ask about your criminal
history on an application if the employer is required to by federal or
state law or the position requires a security or fidelity bond. Although,
even if one of these two exceptions apply, the application must include
a clear notice that defines the criminal records that are subject to erasure,
states an applicant with erased records will be treated as if the arrest
never happened, and states the applicant isn’t required to detail
any expunged records of any kind.
If you’ve been arrested for a crime, make sure you give yourself
the best chance of avoiding a permanent mark on your record. It will make
the employment process much easier, even with these new state protections
in place. Talk to one of our skilled Connecticut criminal defense attorneys
at Tomeo Sills, LLC about your case. Our lawyers are dedicated to defending
the rights and freedoms of the people we help. Let us see what we can
do for you.