AN ACT DIRECTING STATE AGENCIES TO ADJUST EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH A CRIMINAL HISTORY.
Identical to H 460, filed 3/26/19.
Enacts new GS 126-20 which provides as follows. Applies to all State agencies and positions in State government employment, except: (1) a position for which State or federal law specifically disqualifies an applicant with a record of conviction for one or more specified offenses and (2) a position the duties of which are related to the investigation, apprehension, detention, or post-release supervision of individuals suspected or convicted of committing criminal offenses, including law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and probation and parole officers. Prohibits asking an applicant to disclose information concerning the applicant's criminal record or history until the applicant has received a conditional offer of employment and has signed the waiver authorizing release. Requires that if a background check has been lawfully completed and a criminal history exists, that the state agency inform the applicant of a potential adverse employment decision based on the report and requires giving the applicant an opportunity to respond with information pertaining to the three specified factors before making a final decision, including the applicant's efforts toward rehabilitation. Sets out seven issues that must be considered by the agency before proffering or denying an offer of employment when a criminal history exists, including the nature and gravity of the offenses, age of the person at the time of conviction, and whether the position offers the opportunity for the same or similar offense to occur. Prohibits a record of arrest that did not result in conviction or a record that has been expunged from being used to disqualify a person from public employment. Allows an applicant to bring a grievance concerning an alleged violation of the statute. Requires agencies to keep records of certain related information and report the information annually to the Office of State Human Resources, which must then annually by April 1, compile the information and make it available to the public. Specifies that the statute does not require performing a background check when one is not otherwise required by law or policy. Encourages comparable hiring practices among local government and private employers.
Makes conforming changes to GS 126-34.02 and GS 126-5.
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