AN ACT TO REQUIRE FAIR ASSESSMENTS OF PERSONS WITH CRIMINAL HISTORIES APPLYING FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT.
Adds a new Article 17, Fair Assessment of Persons with Criminal Histories, to GS Chapter 126. Defines the following terms as they apply in this Article: (1) criminal history means a state or federal history of conviction for a misdemeanor or felony relevant to an applicant's fitness for public employment but does not include a record of arrest that did not result in a conviction; (2) hiring authority means an agent responsible by law for the hiring of persons for public employment; and (3) public employment means any employment, including seasonal or temporary work, where the State or any local political subdivision of the State is the employer.
Prohibits a hiring authority from (1) asking about or considering the criminal history of an applicant for public employment or (2) including such an inquiry on any initial employment application form until the hiring authority has made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant. Declares that this Article does not apply to public employment in positions where the hiring authority is required by law to consider the applicant's criminal record. Provides that nothing in this Article is to be construed to prevent any hiring authority in its discretion from adopting the provisions of this Article.
Prohibits any person from being disqualified for public employment solely or in part because of a previous conviction except as otherwise required by law or if the conviction is determined to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the position after all of the following factors are considered: (1) the level and seriousness of the crime; (2) the date of the crime; (3) the age of the person at the time of conviction; (4) the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime; (5) the connection between the criminal conduct and the duties of the position; (6) the prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the person since the date the crime was committed; and (7) the subsequent commission of a crime by the person. Clarifies that an arrest record that did not result in a conviction cannot be the basis for disqualification from public employment.
Requires a hiring authority to inform an individual of a potential adverse hiring decision based on the background check and provide the applicant an opportunity to provide evidence that the report is incorrect or inaccurate.
Specifies criteria governing data to be collected by the Office of State Personnel.
Declares that the provisions of this Article apply to all applicants for public employment. Makes a conforming change to GS 126-5.
Effective when the act becomes law and applies to applications for employment made on or after that date.
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