Bill Text - HB1108 (2016)

Relative to inquiries by employers into the criminal history of applicants for employment.

Revision: Dec. 14, 2015, midnight

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AN ACT\trelative to inquiries by employers into the criminal history of applicants for employment.


SPONSORS:\tRep. Heffron, Rock. 18; Rep. Takesian, Hills. 37; Rep. Ley, Ches. 9; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21


COMMITTEE:\tLabor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services






\tThis bill prohibits employers from asking a job applicant about his or her criminal history prior to making a conditional offer of employment.


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Explanation:\tMatter added to current law appears in bold italics.

\t\tMatter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

\t\tMatter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Sixteen


AN ACT\trelative to inquiries by employers into the criminal history of applicants for employment.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


\t1  New Chapter; Use of Criminal Records in Employment Decisions.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 275-G the following new chapter:


Use of Criminal Records in Employment Decisions

\t275-H:1  Definitions.  In this chapter:

\t\tI.  "Commissioner" means the labor commissioner.

\t\tII.  "Applicant" means a person who applies for employment for a wage, salary, fee, or payment to perform work for an employer, but excludes any person applying for employment in the domestic service of any family or person at the person's home.

\t\tIII.  "Employer" means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, or governmental agency or instrumentality employing any person.

\t275-H:2  Protections for Applicants with Criminal Records.

\t\tI.  Except as provided in paragraph II, no employer shall include a question on any application for employment, or  question an applicant in writing or orally, as to whether the applicant has ever been arrested, charged with, or convicted of any crime or violation, or adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent, except when the applicant is applying for:

\t\t\t(a)  A position with, or related to, a law enforcement agency.

\t\t\t(b)  A position that requires a standard fidelity bond or equivalent bond, where the applicant's conviction of a crime would disqualify the applicant from obtaining such a bond.

\t\t\t(c)  Any other position that requires automatic disqualification of an applicant with a criminal history pursuant to federal or state law.

\t\tII.  An employer may inquire about an applicant's criminal history after the employer has extended a conditional offer of employment to that applicant.

\t\tIII.  An employer may deny employment to an applicant because of a prior conviction of a crime after considering:

\t\t\t(a)  The nature of the crime and its substantial and direct relationship to the job for which the applicant has applied;

\t\t\t(b)  Information about the rehabilitation of the convicted person provided by the applicant or any other person on his or her behalf; and

\t\t\t(c)  The amount of time that has passed since the conviction or release.

\t\tIV.  If the offer of employment is withdrawn because of a conviction of a crime, the employer shall provide the applicant with a written rejection specifying the reason for such rejection, referring to the criteria in paragraph III.  The rejection and the background check documents on which it was based shall be sent by registered mail to the applicant within 10 business days of the employer's rejection of the applicant.  The applicant shall have 10 days to dispute the information in the background check and to provide the employer with further information.

\t\tV.  An applicant who is rejected after his or her conviction of a crime has been disclosed may file a complaint with the commissioner.

\t275-H:3  Authority of the Commissioner.  The commissioner may determine whether the employer has violated this chapter, assess any civil penalties, and award costs, expenses, and reasonable attorney's fees.

\t275-H:4  Penalty.  An employer who violates RSA 275-H:2 may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500.

\t2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2017.