Maine: Fair Chance in Employment
August 12th, 2021 | Tammy Glover Fowler, Compliance Associate
On June 9, 2021, the Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, signed House Bill No. 1167. The Bill addresses criminal history record information and employment applications. The effective date is October 1, 2021.
The amended rules state, an employer may not request criminal history record information on an initial application or state on an initial application or advertisement that a person with a criminal history may not apply or will not be considered for the position. Additionally, an employer may not specify prior to determining a person is otherwise qualified for the position, that a person with a criminal history may not apply or will not be considered for the position, except under the following conditions:
- An employer may inquire about an applicant’s criminal history record during an interview or once the applicant has been determined otherwise qualified for the position. The employer shall afford to the prospective employee the opportunity to explain the information and the circumstances regarding any convictions.
- The position is one for which a federal or state law or regulation or rule creates a mandatory or presumptive disqualification based on a conviction for one or more types of criminal offenses, and the questions on the initial employee application are limited to the types of criminal offenses creating the disqualification; or
- The employer is subject to an obligation imposed by a federal or state law or regulation or rule not to employ in a position a person who has been convicted of one or more types of criminal offenses, and the questions on the initial employee application are limited to the types of criminal offenses creating the obligation.
Employers are subject to penalties of not less than $100 and not more than $500 for each violation of this prohibition, which are enforced by the Department of Labor.
The full text of House Bill 1167 can be found here: Maine LD 1167
Maine employers should review their drug and background screening policies and programs in light of the new law. Employers should also consult with their legal counsel when considering updating
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