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Connecticut Background Check Laws

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Connecticut Employment Screening laws

Employers that are either located in Connecticut or hiring Connecticut residents must abide by the Federal FCRA, and applicable Connecticut state employment laws.

This page was created to provide a simple explanation of what an end-user of a background screening report (also known as consumer report) can use in order to be in compliance with Connecticut state laws. This page also contains steps an end-user must take to stay in compliance with Connecticut state laws.

Please keep in mind that the EEOC must always be taken into consideration when a hiring decision is to be made. The EEOC has provided guidance on how employers can use criminal records during the hiring process. This regulation was issued on April 25, 2012. The EEOC requires employers to individually review each applicant or employee that may be disqualified due to a criminal record. This also follows the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the EEOC wants to undertake an adverse action process similar to that of the FCRA. They want to add a pre-adverse action process of their own. Although employers already have an adverse action process that is specific to information contained in consumer reports, the EEOC's adverse action process may be different.

The information that is provided on this page does not discuss requirements under the EEOC nor does it explain how to use criminal records that fall under the regulation of the EEOC. It is suggested that compliance with the EEOC be discussed with legal counsel.

For more detailed information on Connecticut state laws, please consult your legal counsel.

Background Check Law Ban the Box Law Court Fee Summary of Rights

Employment Background Check Laws In Connecticut:

Connecticut Public Law No. 16-83: An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment.

Section 1. Section 31-51i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2017):

(a) For the purposes of this section, “employer” means any person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state or any political subdivision of the state.

(b) No employer shall inquire about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an initial employment application, unless (1) the employer is required to do so by an applicable state or federal law, or (2) a security or fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the position for which the prospective employee is seeking employment.

[(b)] (c) No employer or employer’s agent, representative or designee may require an employee or prospective employee to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a.

[(c)] (d) An employment application form that contains any question concerning the criminal history of the applicant shall contain a notice, in clear and conspicuous language: (1) That the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a, (2) that criminal records subject to erasure pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs, an adjudication as a youthful offender, a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon, and (3) that any person whose criminal records have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.

[(d)] (e) No employer or employer’s agent, representative or designee shall deny employment to a prospective employee solely on the basis that the prospective employee had a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a or that the prospective employee had a prior conviction for which the prospective employee has received a provisional pardon or certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-130a, or a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-108f.

[(e)] (f) No employer or employer’s agent, representative or designee shall discharge, or cause to be discharged, or in any manner discriminate against, any employee solely on the basis that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, an arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to section 46b-146, 54-76o or 54-142a or that the employee had, prior to being employed by such employer, a prior conviction for which the employee has received a provisional pardon or certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-130a, or a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to section 54-108f.

[(f)] (g) The portion of an employment application form [which] that contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee shall only be available to the members of the personnel department of the company, firm or corporation or, if the company, firm or corporation does not have a personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and to any employee or member of the company, firm or corporation, or an agent of such employee or member, involved in the interviewing of the applicant.

[(g)] (h) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection [(f)] (g) of this section, the portion of an employment application form [which] that contains information concerning the criminal history record of an applicant or employee may be made available as necessary to persons other than those specified in said subsection [(f)] (g) by:

(1) A broker-dealer or investment adviser registered under chapter 672a in connection with (A) the possible or actual filing of, or the collection or retention of information contained in, a form U-4 Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, (B) the compliance responsibilities of such broker-dealer or investment adviser under state or federal law, or (C) the applicable rules of self-regulatory organizations promulgated in accordance with federal law;

(2) An insured depository institution in connection with (A) the management of risks related to safety and soundness, security or privacy of such institution, (B) any waiver that may possibly or actually be sought by such institution pursuant to section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 USC 1829(a), (C) the possible or actual obtaining by such institution of any security or fidelity bond, or (D) the compliance responsibilities of such institution under state or federal law; and

(3) An insurance producer licensed under chapter 701a in connection with (A) the management of risks related to security or privacy of such insurance producer, or (B) the compliance responsibilities of such insurance producer under state or federal law.

[(h)] (i) (1) For the purposes of this subsection: (A) “Consumer reporting agency” means any person who regularly engages, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or preparing consumer reports for a fee, which reports compile and report items of information on consumers that are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment, but does not include any public agency; (B) “consumer report” means any written, oral or other communication of information bearing on an individual’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living; and (C) “criminal matters of public record” means information obtained from the Judicial Department relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, outstanding judgments, and any other conviction information, as defined in section 54-142g.

(2) Each consumer reporting agency that issues a consumer report that is used or is expected to be used for employment purposes and that includes in such report criminal matters of public record concerning the consumer shall:

(A) At the time the consumer reporting agency issues such consumer report to a person other than the consumer who is the subject of the report, provide the consumer who is the subject of the consumer report (i) notice that the consumer reporting agency is reporting criminal matters of public record, and (ii) the name and address of the person to whom such consumer report is being issued;

(B) Maintain procedures designed to ensure that any criminal matter of public record reported is complete and up-to-date as of the date the consumer report is issued, which procedures shall, at a minimum, conform to the requirements set forth in section 54-142e, as amended by this act.

(3) This subsection shall not apply in the case of an agency or department of the United States government seeking to obtain and use a consumer report for employment purposes if the head of the agency or department makes a written finding pursuant to 15 USC 1681b(b)(4)(A).

(j) An employee or prospective employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner alleging an employer’s violation of this section.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 54-142e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (e) of section 54-142a and section 54-142c, with respect to any person, including, but not limited to, a consumer reporting agency as defined in subsection [(h)] (i) of section 31-51i, as amended by this act, that purchases criminal matters of public record, as defined in said subsection (h), from the Judicial Department, the department shall make available to such person information concerning such criminal matters of public record that have been erased pursuant to section 54-142a. Such information may include docket numbers or other information that permits the person to identify and permanently delete records that have been erased pursuant to section 54-142a.

Sec. 3. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a fair chance employment task force to study issues, including, but not limited to, the employment opportunities available to individuals with criminal histories.

(b) The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1) One appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;

(2) One appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;

(3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives;

(4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; and

(7) The executive director of the African-American Affairs Commission, or the executive director’s designee.

(c) Any member of the task force appointed under subdivisions (1) to (7), inclusive, of subsection (b) of this section may be a member of the General Assembly.

(d) All appointments to the task force shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(e) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall select two chairpersons of the task force from among the members of the task force. Such chairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(f) The administrative staff of the African-American Affairs Commission shall serve as administrative staff of the task force.

(g) Not later than January 1, 2017, and the January first thereafter, the task force shall submit a report on its findings and offer recommendations for any administrative or legislative action necessary to address such findings to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to labor and the judiciary, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits its final report or January 1, 2018, whichever is later.

Approved June 1, 2016

Ninja's summary

Employers may not make inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application or during the initial stage of the employment application process. The law is silent on any guidance as to when an employer may make an inquiry into criminal history. Generally, employers are prohibited from performing a background screening unless a conditional job offer has been made.

Connecticut General Statute § 31-51tt (2012): Employer inquiries about an employee’s or prospective employee’s credit.

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Employee” means any person engaged in service to an employer in a business of his employer;

(2) “Employer” means any person engaged in business who has one or more employees, including the state or any political subdivision of the state;

(3) “Financial institution” means any entity or affiliate of a state bank and trust company, national banking association, state or federally chartered savings bank, state or federally chartered savings and loan association, state or federally chartered credit union, insurance company, investment advisor, broker-dealer or an entity registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission; and

(4) “Substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job” means the information contained in the credit report is related to the position for which the employee or prospective employee who is the subject of the report is being evaluated because the position:

(A) Is a managerial position which involves setting the direction or control of a business, division, unit or an agency of a business;

(B) Involves access to customers’, employees’ or the employer’s personal or financial information other than information customarily provided in a retail transaction;

(C) Involves a fiduciary responsibility to the employer, including, but not limited to, the authority to issue payments, collect debts, transfer money or enter into contracts;

(D) Provides an expense account or corporate debit or credit card;

(E) Provides access to (i) confidential or proprietary business information, or (ii) information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, process or trade secret that: (I) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of the information; and (II) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy; or

(F) Involves access to the employer’s nonfinancial assets valued at two thousand five dollars or more, including, but not limited to, museum and library collections and to prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals.

(b) No employer or employer’s agent, representative or designee may require an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the employee’s or prospective employee’s credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment unless (1) such employer is a financial institution, (2) such report is required by law, (3) the employer reasonably believes that the employee has engaged in specific activity that constitutes a violation of the law related to the employee’s employment, or (4) such report is substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job or the employer has a bona fide purpose for requesting or using information in the credit report that is substantially job-related and is disclosed in writing to the employee or applicant.

(c) Any employee or prospective employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner alleging a violation of the provisions of subsection (b) of this section. Within thirty days after the filing of such complaint, the commissioner shall conduct an investigation and shall render his findings. Should such findings warrant, the commissioner shall hold a hearing, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. An employer shall be liable to the Labor Department for a civil penalty of three hundred dollars for each inquiry made in violation of subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Attorney General, upon complaint of the Labor Commissioner, shall institute civil actions to recover the penalties provided for under subsection (c) of this section. Any amount recovered shall be deposited in the General Fund.

Ninja's summary

An employer can only obtain a credit report on a potential candidate after they have issued that applicant a conditional offer of employment. Additionally, an employer may NOT obtain or use an applicant’s credit report or credit history in making a hiring decision unless it is “substantially related to the employee’s current or potential job.”

Update: Feb 2018

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a set of federal guidelines that helps regulate hiring practices. The FCRA was created to ensure privacy, accuracy, and fairness of consumer information. The FCRA accomplishes this by having a set standard for collecting, disseminating, and using consumer information.

Employers obtaining consumer reports for background screening purposes must follow specific procedures. For example, employers must disclose to the candidate what the background screening is, what information it includes, and how they intend to use it. They must obtain the written consent of the candidate before obtaining a background screening. They may not misuse the information contained in the background screening. There are also strict procedures an employer must follow should they decide not to hire a potential candidate based on the information in the background screening.

The purpose of the FCRA is to help protect employers, employees, and potential job candidates.

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

Connecticut Ban the Box

Employers may not make inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application or during the initial stage of the employment application process. The law is silent on any guidance as to when an employer may make an inquiry into criminal history. Generally, employers are prohibited from performing a background screening unless a conditional job offer has been made.


Update: Feb 2018

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

County: Court Fee:
Fairfield $0.00
Federal Civil $0.00
Hartford $0.00
Litchfield $0.00
Middlesex $0.00
New Haven $0.00
New London $0.00
Tolland $0.00
Windham $0.00

State of Connecticut - Consumer Rights Notice

You have a right to obtain a copy of your credit file from a credit rating agency. You may be charged a reasonable fee not exceeding five dollars for your first request in twelve months or seven dollars and fifty cents for any subsequent request in that same twelve-month period. There is no fee, however, if you have been turned down for credit, employment, insurance or a rental dwelling because of information in your credit report within the preceding sixty days. The credit rating agency must provide someone to help you interpret the information in your credit file.

You have a right to dispute inaccurate information by contacting the credit rating agency directly. However, neither you nor any credit repair company or credit service organization has the right to have accurate, current and verifiable information removed from your credit report. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the credit rating agency must remove accurate, negative information from your report only if it is over seven years old. Bankruptcy information can be reported for ten years.

If you have notified a credit rating agency in writing that you dispute the accuracy of information in your file, the credit rating agency must then, within thirty business days, reinvestigate and modify or remove inaccurate information. If you provide additional information to the credit rating agency, the agency may extend this time period by fifteen business days. The credit rating agency shall provide you with a toll-free telephone number to use in resolving the dispute. You can contact Info Cubic at: 877.360.4636 or by mail at 9250 East Costilla Avenue, Suite 525 to dispute the accuracy of the information in your file.
The credit rating agency may not charge a fee for this service. Any pertinent information and copies of all documents you have concerning an error should be given to the credit rating agency.

If reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you may send a brief statement to the credit rating agency to keep in your file, explaining why you think the record is inaccurate. The credit rating agency must include your statement about disputed information in a report it issues about you.

You have a right to receive a record of all inquiries relating to a credit transaction initiated in twelve months preceding your request which resulted in the provision of a credit report.

You may request in writing that the information contained in your file not be provided to a third party for marketing purposes.
If you have reviewed your credit report with the credit rating agency and are dissatisfied, you may contact the
Connecticut Department of Banking. You have a right to bring civil action against anyone who knowingly or
willfully misuses file data or improperly obtains access to your file.

KEY COURT DECISIONS
Court Case Issue Outcome Employer Limitation/ Action

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