The State of Georgia has joined 13 other states, and has become the first state in the South to ban a requirement that job applicants disclose criminal history on initial job applications.

By executive order signed by Republican Governor Nathan Deal the State now:

1. Prohibit[s] the use of a criminal record as an automatic bar to employment.
2. Prevent[s] the use of an application form that inappropriately excludes and discriminates against qualified job applicants.
3. Promote[s] the accurate use and interpretation of a criminal record.
4. Provide[s] qualified applicants with the opportunity to discuss any inaccuracies, contest the content and relevance of a criminal record, and provide[s] information that demonstrates rehabilitation.
5. Shall not affect applications for sensitive governmental positions in which a criminal history would be an immediate disqualification and initial disclosure on such applications shall still be required.

Executive Order Attached.

This does not govern the conduct of private employers. However, the Equal Opportunity Commission is now taking action against employers whose requirements for criminal histories have the effect of discriminating against protected classes.

Private employers who wish to secure criminal histories of job applicants should contact us to discuss the matter, so that such programs can be tailored to avoid illegal discrimination or even the appearance of unlawful discrimination.  EEOC investigations can be expensive. Prevention would be the proverbial best medicine.