Employers Still Vulnerable to City Second-Guessing Hiring Decisions

The Seattle City Council will soon consider updates to proposed legislation that affects employers’ ability to use criminal background checks when hiring. The legislation being sponsored by Councilmember Bruce Harrell will:

  • “Ban the Box” to get rid of “Have you been convicted” checkboxes on application for employment.
  • Prohibit adverse action from being taken against an applicant solely on the basis of an employee’s or applicant’s arrest record.
  • Prohibit a criminal background check from being run until “after the employer has completed an initial screening of applications or resumes eliminating unqualified applicants.”
  • Only allow denial of applications for reason of criminal conviction when that conviction gives the employer a “legitimate business reason” for taking such action.
  • Give the authority to the Seattle Office for Civil Rights to initiate investigations and enforcement procedures on its own without a complaint from the charging party.

A coalition of businesses including AGC opposes the legislation in its current form. Please contact Councilmember Bruce Harrell and let him know he needs to drop this ill-conceived legislation and come to the table with proven ideas that work!