New Illinois Employers’ Use of Conviction Records Law Effective March 23, 2021

Recently Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, signed SB 1480 into law amending the Illinois Human Rights Act. The bill will modifying Section 1-103 pertaining to definitions and add a new Section 2-103 pertaining to employer’s use of conviction records. The bill was signed on March 23, 2021 and effective upon signing.

According to the amended law, it will now be a civil rights violation for an employer to use a conviction record as a basis to refuse to hire, to segregate or to act with respect to recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges or conditions of employment unless:

  • There is a substantial relationship between one or more of the previous criminal offenses and the employment sought or held; or
  • The granting or continuation of the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

The amended law provides a definition for “conviction records” and includes a definition for “substantial relationship”. Employers under the new amended law will need to do the following pertaining to the use of criminal records:

  • Consider certain specific factors when reviewing criminal information of applicants/employees who have criminal conviction(s).
  • Notify the applicant/employee of the specific criminal offense(s) that formed the basis for the preliminary adverse decision as well as the final adverse decision.
  • Provide the applicant/employee with at least five (5) days to respond to the preliminary adverse action notification.
  • Inform applicant/employee of the right to file a complaint with the IL Department of Human Rights.

Read the law here:

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