Three members of the Montgomery County Council are introducing legislation that would prohibit employers from asking potential employees on any job application form whether or not that candidate has a criminal record. The legislation would not apply to certain government agencies, and certain areas of the economy including providers of child care services and rehabilitation programs.
As of right now, employers are allowed to ask a job candidate whether or not they have a criminal record, and to consider the answer in making a determination as to any job offer.
This is a piece of legislation that should be carefully watched. While the proponents of the bill believe that after an individual has “paid his or her debt to society” a criminal conviction should not be held against them, many employers and their clientele would counter that it is an important component in offering a job. For example, many positions expose employees to personal financial information which would be relevant if the employee had a prior conviction for identity theft.
We encourage you to voice your opinion to the Montgomery County Council on this issue, and to consider the potential ramifications across all industries with the passing of any new law of this nature.
Steven T. Blomberg
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