Vermont Bans the Box - May 5th, 2016

On May 3rd, 2016 Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed bill H. 261, to “ban the box.” The new law will prohibit employers in Vermont from asking on an initial job application if an applicant has a criminal record. The criminal record question can be asked at any time during the first interview or after the individual has been determined as qualified for the position.

If a Federal or State law prohibits a person with a conviction from holding a position or an employer is prohibited from employing a person with a certain conviction, the employer is permitted to ask about a criminal history but only for the disqualifying offenses. If an employer inquires about a prospective employee’s criminal history and if the person is eligible by law, they must be given the opportunity to explain the information and the circumstances regarding any convictions, including post-conviction rehabilitation. Employers who violate the law can be fined $100.00 per violation. The law will become effective on July 1st, 2017 and employers who violate the law can be fined $100.00 per violation. The draft bill can be found here: http://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2016/H.261