Illinois' Fair Chance Law
Source: National Employment Law Project
Issued October 3, 2013 by Governor Pat Quinn, Order 1 requires the Illinois Bureau of Personnel in the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to modify the Application for State Employment (the “CMS100”). All state employing agencies, boards, and commissions must modify their employment applications to remove any question about an applicant’s criminal history. If a criminal background check is conducted, the state employer must utilize an Authorization for Release form that informs the applicant of the policy. Each employer covered by Order 1 must establish a process for the evalua- tion of a candidate’s criminal history that only excludes a candidate where it is determined that the exclusion is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Consistent with the EEOC guidance, employers must consider factors such as the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that has elapsed since the conviction and/or completion of sentence, and the nature of the job being sought.
Commentary: For several years, advocates had pursued legislative efforts to ban-the-box. Although legislation may still be considered as a strategy in the state, the administrative win at the state level offers an example of a viable alternative.