Recent Change to Illinois Law Will Significantly Impact Employers; States CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

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On March 23, 2021 the Governor of Illinois signed into law new legislation that will immediately and significantly impact an employers’ ability to review criminal convictions during the pre-employment background screening, thereby creating an immediate call to action for all hiring managers and HR departments to review existing hiring policy. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “The scope and immediacy of SB 1480 suggests that hiring managers and HR departments should immediately review all pre-employment background screening policies; subsequent best practice remains to work with a well-qualified third-part screening agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com to remain complaint with law.”

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The sweeping impact of this new law should alert employers both in Illinois and elsewhere to review their employment screening laws.

A recent and immediate change in Illinois law governing the use of convictions records should force all hiring managers and HR departments to review existing policy in order to remain fully compliant with the new law, as well as any existing law. Adam Almeida states: “Whenever an impactful law affecting pre-employment background screening is enacted hiring managers and HR departments, regardless of state, but especially in Illinois, should work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency, such as CriminalBackgroundRecords.com, in order to remain compliant.”

When the Governor of Illinois signed SB1480 into law it took immediate affect and will significantly impact companies hiring practices and policies.

From Ogletree.com on March 24, 2021:

In 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill (SB) 1480, which amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and the Illinois Business Corporation Act. On March 23, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law. The new law—which takes effect immediately—limits employers’ ability to consider criminal conviction records in making hiring and employment decisions, imposes new requirements for reporting workforce demographics to the state, and requires employers to obtain a certification that they are complying with federal and state equal pay laws. (1)

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “These new limits on using criminal convictions will cause a considerable impact upon employers.”

Key language is a change from arrest records to convictions.

From JDSupra.com on March 31, 2021:

While the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) previously prohibited employers from making adverse employment decisions based on an individual’s arrest record, SB 1480 amends the IHRA to prohibit employers from making adverse employment decisions based on an individual’s conviction record except in two circumstances.

Specifically, to legally consider an employee or applicant’s conviction record under the new law, one of the following two conditions must be met: (1) there must be a substantial relationship between one or more of the previous criminal offenses and the employment sought or held; or (2) the granting or continuation of the employment must involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public. (2)

Almeida concludes: “The sweeping impact of this new law should alert employers both in Illinois and elsewhere to review their employment screening laws by working with a well-qualified third-party background screening agency in order to remain compliant with law.”

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party employment screening company, an advocate of SHRM, a member in good standing with the PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) and for over 17 years has maintained an A+ Rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). The company has highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with CriminalBackgroundRecords.com.

Notes:
(1) ogletree.com/insights/illinois-enacts-stronger-anti-discrimination-and-equal-pay-laws-focusing-on-criminal- convictions-and-demographic reporting
(2) jdsupra.com/legalnews/what-all-illinois-employers-need-to-6529940/

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