Montgomery County Maryland Bans the Box

November 13th, 2014

Effective January 1, 2015, Montgomery County Maryland will prohibit employers from inquiring if an applicant has a criminal record or conduct a criminal background check until after the initial interview.  Employer is defined as any person or company that employees 15 or more people full time in Montgomery County.  Prior to making an employment decision based on an applicant’s criminal record, the employer must conduct an individualized assessment, considering only specific offenses that pertain to the position, the time since the offense was committed and any evidence showing that the record is inaccurate. 

If employers do deny employment based on a criminal record, they must provide the applicant with the items that are the basis for the prospective adverse action.  After the employer provides the pre-adverse action notice to the employee, the employer must allow the applicant 7 days  to contest the information.  If the employer is notified within the seven day period, they must delay rescinding the offer for a reasonable amount of time.

This prohibition does not apply to employers who are required to inquire or take adverse action as authorized by federal, state, county law or regulation, County Police, Fire and Rescue or Department of Corrections and to an employer that provides programs or services or direct care to minors or vulnerable adults.

Applicants or employees may file a complaint with the County Human Rights Commission, which can assess a penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation against the employer.  The full text can be found here:  http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/bill/2014/Packets/20141028_5C.pdf

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