18952101_sIf we have all learned something writing and reading this blog, it is that new employment laws seem to crop up more frequently than Bigfoot sightings.  I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many new laws that went into effect on January 1 at once, so today I am just going to focus on the new Ban the Box law in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Ban the Box laws are gaining momentum across the country so that criminal offenders have more opportunities to obtain employment.  The Montgomery County Ban the Box Ordinance provides that employers may not ask about criminal backgrounds until the completion of the first interview.  If, after an making a conditional job offer, the employer decides to rescind the job offer, the employer must:

  1. Give the applicant a copy of the criminal background report;
  2. Notify the applicant of the intention to rescind the conditional offer;
  3. Delay rescinding the offer for 7 days to permit the applicant to dispute the accuracy of the report; and
  4. Notify the applicant of the rescission of the conditional offer in writing.

All in all, the law is one of the less onerous Ban the Box laws, but will require employers to revise applications to delete any questions regarding criminal backgrounds on applications.  As for the notices that must be given to employers, hopefully, employers are already aware that they must provide pre- and post-adverse action notices to applicants under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  If you need a brief refresher on FCRA, this joint guidance from the EEOC and the FTC should be helpful.