Written by Jackson Lewis PC – Danny W. Jarrett, Susan M. Corcoran and Richard I. Greenberg New Mexico is the latest state to adopt statewide legislation prohibiting private employers from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on the initial employment application. The state also enacted legislation prohibiting employers from asking applicants for information about a […]
Written by: Wendy Leonard SALT LAKE CITY — When a judge asked Catie Cartisano’s father what it was like to see his daughter in handcuffs, his reply was that it “was better than a funeral.” “I will never forget that,” said Cartisano, 33. That same judge ordered Cartisano to attend treatment for a third time, […]
Written by: Deb Erdley Pennsylvania state court officials are preparing a massive initiative that could pave the way for courts across the country to offer people convicted of minor offenses a fresh start outside the shadow of their past. In late June, Pennsylvania officials plan to begin running a computer program that will flag an […]
In an effort to increase the state’s potential workforce, the South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation last week that will expand the state’s current expungement law and allow individuals to more easily remove criminal convictions from their records. The hope is that prospective employees with low-level crimes on their records will no longer be discouraged from applying for jobs; this, then, should make it easier for employers to recruit qualified workers. What do South Carolina employers need to know about this new law? While South Carolina does not have a ban-the-box law, the state legislature has instead taken it one step further: the new law will make it easier for persons to erase certain convictions from their records. Current law permits persons to expunge a first-offense, low-level crime carrying a sentence of 30 days or less from their record following a period of good behavior. The new law removes the “first-offense” requirement and also allows persons to erase multiple convictions arising out of the same sentencing hearing if they are “closely connected.” Significantly, the law also allows offenders to expunge first-offense simple drug possession and possession of drugs with intent to distribute crimes. The law applies retroactively to those offenses committed prior to the law’s passage.
Nationwide, each state has slowly been adopting the ban-the-box law to help ex-offenders find work. Ban-the-box or the “fair-chance policy” is a policy that requires employers to remove the conviction history question from their job applications. In some areas, it dictates when an employer can conduct a background check. The goal is to get employers to view all job applications equally, and schedule interviews based on qualifications alone in order to help convicts find work after prison.