Washington's Fair Chance Law
Cities or Counties with a Fair Chance Policy
Source: National Employment Law Project
(Administrative policy applies to city)
- Banned the box
Spokane Mayor David Condon directed the Human Resources Department by letter on July 31, 2014 to draft policies and procedures that would delay a background check inquiry until the City has determined that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the job.
Julie Schaffer, Attorney
Center for Justice
(Ordinance applies to city and private employers)
- Banned the box
- Background check only for otherwise qualified applicants
- Background checks only required for some positions
- Applies to public and private employers
- Right to appeal denial of employment
- Provides copy of background check report
In April 2009, the Personnel Director for the City of Seattle issued a memo to all department heads announcing the completion and implementation of the Citywide Personnel Rule for Criminal Background Checks. In 2013, the Seattle City Council voted to expand the ban the box policy to include private employers.
Adding to the state law that prohibits public agencies from refusing to hire someone or grant a license based solely on a criminal conviction, the new policy applies to both the City of Seattle and private employers. The ordinance prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history investigations and may exclude individuals from employment based on the applicant’s criminal history if there is a legitimate business reason for doing so. The ordinance defines “legitimate business reason” and requires employers to consider a list of factors, including those enumerated by the EEOC. Finally, before an employer takes a negative employment decision based on an applicant’s criminal history, the employer must identify to the applicant what information they are using to make the decision and provide the applicant with a minimum of two days in which to correct or explain that information.
Seattle Personnel Director McDermott’s Memo (April 24, 2009)
Seattle Personnel Rule 10.3 – Criminal Background Checks
Seattle Ordinance Number 124201
Seattle Office of Civil Rights Fact Sheet
Seattle Job Assistance Ordinance Final Rules
Seattle Job Assistance Ordinance FAQs
Seattle Employers Card