MSB ALERT: New Ordinance on Employer’s use of Criminal Records

MSB ALERT: The City Council for Kansas City, Missouri recently passed restrictions on the ability of employers to inquire about and use a job applicant’s criminal history.

Taking effect June 9, 2018, the city ordinance limits an employer’s ability to use criminal record information. Under this ordinance, employers will no longer be able to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history until after the employer has determined that the individual is otherwise qualified for the position and the applicant has been interviewed. After interviews, employers may inquire into the criminal record of applicants who are “within the final selection pool of candidates.”

In addition, employers will also now be limited in how they use criminal history information in hiring decisions. Employers must demonstrate that the decision to hire or promote is based on “all available information.” This includes frequency, recency and severity of the applicant’s criminal record. If an employer is going to take an adverse action based on the criminal history information, the criminal offenses must be “reasonably related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.”

There is one exception to this new ordinance. If an employer must exclude applicants with criminal convictions because of a local, state or federal law or regulation, then this ordinance does not apply.

Questions about how this will impact your hiring or promotion decisions? Give us a call.