Pre-Employment Update for Illinois: SB 1480
Illinois Notice for Background Screening Industry
Please be advised that Illinois Governor Pritzker has signed SB 1480; thus, the Illinois Human Rights Act has been amended. This amendment grants additional protections for Illinois ex-offenders during the pre-employment screening process and updates the Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action letter process.
Now, Illinois has a new civil rights violation when using a “conviction record” unless the employer can demonstrate one of the following:
- there is a substantial relationship between one or more of the previous criminal offenses and the employment sought or held (“substantial relationship” means a consideration of whether the employment position offers the opportunity for the same or a similar offense to occur and whether the circumstances leading to the conduct for which the person was convicted will recur in the employment position); or
- the granting or continuation of the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.
A “conviction record” as defined under the Illinois Human Rights Act includes but is not limited to information showing that a person has been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or other crime, placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled by any law enforcement agency or military authority.
Illinois employers must also consider the following factors:
- the length of time since the conviction;
- the number of convictions that appear on the conviction record;
- the nature and severity of the conviction and its relationship to the safety and security of others;
- the facts or circumstances surrounding the conviction;
- the age of the employee at the time of the conviction; and
- evidence of rehabilitation efforts.
If the employer still decides the applicant does not meet hiring criteria based on the conviction record, the employer must notify the employee or applicant in writing of the preliminary decision. The notice must contain:
- notice of the disqualifying conviction or convictions that are the basis for the preliminary decision and the employer's reasoning for the disqualification;
- a copy of the conviction history report, if any; and
- an explanation of the applicant or employee's right to respond to the notice of the employer's preliminary decision before that decision becomes final. The explanation shall inform the applicant or employee that the response may include, but is not limited to, submission of evidence challenging the accuracy of the conviction record that is the basis for the disqualification, or evidence in mitigation, such as rehabilitation.
To comply with the new regulation, S2Verify has included updated Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action letters in our system for Illinois applicants that adhere the above outlined requirements. We also provided an Individualized Assessment Worksheet For Criminal History in the documents section to our portal.
For more information, we highly recommend visiting the Illinois Department of Human Rights Frequently Asked Questions page by clicking here.
To view SB 1480 in its entirety, you may click here.