6 States Where Your Job Application Laws Just Changed

Liz Dillon

A lot of new laws are going into effect restricting what you’re legally allowed to ask on your job application. We’ve rounded up where, when and exactly what criminal history and salary history laws are going into effect this summer—plus how to make updates in your Snag Recruiting Platform to make sure you’re compliant.

 

New Ban-the-Box Criminal History Restrictions

Washington — June 7

The new Washington Fair Chance Act went into effect June 7, 2018. This ban-the-box law prohibits employers from asking applicants about their criminal history on the employment application, with a few exceptions.

But it doesn’t supersede ban-the-box laws in Seattle or Spokane—which went into effect exactly 1 week later in Spokane. Meaning Washington employers now have 3 different ban-the-box laws to deal with.

 

Kansas City, Missouri — June 9

The Kansas City, Missouri Ban-the-Box Ordinance became effective on June 9, 2018. It restricts asking about criminal history until after you’ve determined if a candidate is otherwise qualified for the position and not until after a candidate’s been interviewed for the job in question.

Kansas City’s ban-the-box law allows asking applicants who are in the “final selection pool of candidates” about their criminal histories but limits use of this info in making hiring or promotional decisions.

 

Spokane, Washington — June 14

Effective June 14, 2018, The City of Spokane Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance prohibits private employers from requesting or considering any criminal history info—including criminal background checks—until after an interview. Or, if no interviews are conducted, until after sending a conditional offer of employment.

Spokane’s ban-the-box rules also go a step further to specifically restrict employers from using language in job postings that effectively excludes applicants with arrest or conviction records.

 

New Salary History Restrictions

Massachusetts — July 1

The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act recently went into effect on July 1, 2018. Along with other restrictions, this new state law prohibits employers from asking applicants for salary history information before they’ve made a job offer with compensation. Additionally, employers can only confirm prior salary if an applicant voluntarily discloses that info to them.

 

Vermont — July 1

One of the most recently enacted, Vermont’s salary history bill went into effect July 1, 2018. Now, employers can’t ask about or seek information regarding an applicant’s current or past compensation and can’t use salary history information to make interview decisions. You can request or seek to confirm salary history but only if applicants voluntarily disclose that info and only after making an employment offer that includes compensation.

 

San Francisco, California — July 1

San Francisco’s salary history ordinance also takes effect on July 1, 2018. In addition to asking about an applicant’s salary history, the law also restricts employers from considering or relying on salary history in determining whether to make an offer of employment or what salary to offer an applicant.

Employers are not prohibited from verifying the applicant’s voluntarily disclosed salary history or from considering salary history that an applicant discloses voluntarily and without prompting.

 

Westchester County, New York — July 9

The new Westchester County, New York salary history ban goes into effect July 9, 2018. It restricts salary history from interview, offer and salary decisions. Employers can’t request or require disclosure of an applicant’s salary history as a condition of being interviewed or considered for an offer. Additionally, prior salary can’t play into determining what current salary to offer applicants.

Employers can confirm prior salary if applicants voluntarily disclose it in an effort to get a higher wage than what you’re offering. But this is only allowed after an offer including compensation has been made and only with the applicant’s written authorization.

 

How to make ban-the-box updates in your Snag platform

The good news is if you’re using the Snag Recruiting Platform, you can update your job application to comply with constantly-changing criminal history and salary history ban-the-box laws.

In a “better-safe-than-not-compliant” move this past January, Snag turned off the felony question from our default online job application questions. This question appeared in the Legal Information section.

Now, whether or not you have locations in states or cities that have (or are considering) ban-the-box laws, you’re covered. Plus, none of our default application questions reference salary history, so you’re all good here, too!

 

How to turn off Background Checks for specific states and locations

If you’re using background checks in Snag—either through Sterling or LS Screening—you can customize which locations have the Background Check consent/acknowledgment application step turned On/Off.

Here’s a quick how-to video and step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

 

1. Go to Company Settings.

1. Go to Company Settings

 

2. Scroll down and click on Application Questions section.

2. Scroll down and click on Application Questions section.

 

3. Scroll down to the Background Check step in the Application Sections menu. Click the drop-down arrow to select Custom.

3. Scroll down to the Background Check step in the Application Sections menu. Click the dropdown arrow to select Custom.

 

4. Click the drop-down arrow at the top of the pop-up window to select I want to assign this task to specific states/provinces/territories and locations.

4. Click the drop-down arrow at the top of the pop-up window to select I want to assign this task to specific states/provinces/territories and locations.

 

5. Scroll down or search to find a specific state. Clicking the checkmark next to the state will turn OFF the Background Check application section for ALL locations within that state.

 

6. If you only want to turn off this section for a specific location(s) in a state—like your San Francisco store in California, for example—click the button to the right.

6. If you only want to turn off this section for a specific location(s) in a state—like your San Francisco store in California, for example—click the button to the right.

 

7. This will pull up a list of all of your locations in that state. Click the checkmark to turn OFF the Background Check section for that location only. Once turned OFF, the location will NOT have a checkmark.

7. This will pull up a list of all of your locations in that state. Click the checkmark to turn OFF the Background Check section for that location only. Once turned OFF, the location will NOT have a checkmark.

 

8. Click Save, then rinse and repeat as necessary!

8. Click Save, then rinse and repeat as necessary!

 


 

P.S. Still confused? Read through our Knowledge Base article here.

 

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