Mayor Greg Fischer recently signed an ordinance that generally prohibits the Louisville Metro Government (hereinafter, “City”) and its vendors from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history on the initial job application.
The Ordinance joins an ever-growing patchwork of laws that curbs inquiries into or the use of an applicant and/or employee’s criminal history in employment decisions. Indeed, approximately 10 states and 50 localities have “banned the box” and, although many of these laws only apply to public employers, several local ordinances cover government contractors in particular, including in Compton (CA), Richmond (CA), Hartford (CT), New Haven (CT), Indianapolis (IN), Boston (MA), Cambridge (MA), Worcester, (MA), Detroit (MI), Atlantic City (NJ), New York City (NY), and Pittsburgh (PA). Nine other jurisdictions—Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, as well as the Cities of Philadelphia (PA), Newark (NJ), Buffalo (NY), Seattle (WA), and San Francisco (CA)—also have “banned the box” for private employers (either expressly or implicitly covering government contractors). And, many more jurisdictions have imposed other limitations on criminal background checks for private and public employers, as well as for city vendors.
This post examines the obligations that vendors face under the new Louisville Ordinance and proposes best practices for compliance.