Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3056
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Full Text of HB3056  101st General Assembly




State of Illinois
2019 and 2020


Introduced , by Rep. Sonya M. Harper


New Act

    Creates the Employee Background Fairness Act. Provides that an employer may not refuse to hire an individual and may not discharge an individual because of the individual's criminal history unless the individual has one or more convictions and there is a direct relationship between one of more of an individual's convictions and the specific employment sought. Prohibits retaliation for exercising rights under the Act. Provides that an individual denied or discharged from employment because of his or her criminal history in violation of the Act may recover from the employer in a civil action: (1) damages in the amount of $2,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater; (2) costs and reasonable attorney's fees as allowed by the court; and (3) any other appropriate relief, including punitive damages. Defines terms. Effective immediately.

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1    AN ACT concerning employment.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Employee Background Fairness Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
7    "Adverse action" means to fail or refuse to hire an
8applicant, to discharge or to not promote any employee, or to
9classify employees in a way that would deprive or tend to
10deprive any individual of employment opportunities.
11    "Applicant" means a person pursuing employment with an
13    "Conviction" means a judgment of conviction or sentence
14entered upon a plea of guilty or upon a verdict or finding of
15guilty of a criminal offense, rendered by a legally constituted
16jury or by a court in a case without a jury. For purposes of
17this Act, an order of supervision or qualified probation, as
18defined by Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act, that
19has been discharged or dismissed shall not be deemed a
21    "Criminal history record information" means records of
22arrest, complaint, indictment, or any disposition arising



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1    "Criminal history report" means any written, oral, or other
2communication of information that includes criminal history
3record information about a natural person, produced by law
4enforcement or police agencies, courts, a consumer reporting
5agency, or an employment screening agency or business.
6    "Direct relationship" means a consideration of whether the
7employment position offers the opportunity for the same or a
8similar offense to occur and whether circumstances leading to
9the conduct for which the person was convicted will recur in
10the employment position.
11    "Employee" means an individual who receives compensation
12for performing services for an employer under an express or
13implied contract of hire.
14    "Employer" means an individual or entity that permits one
15or more individuals to work, accepts applications for
16employment, or is an agent of an employer.
17    "Employment" means any occupation or vocation, including,
18but not limited to, temporary or seasonal work, work through a
19temporary or other employment agency, or any form of vocational
20or educational training program for which an individual
21receives compensation for performing services for an employer
22under an express or implied contract for hire.
23    Section 10. Use of criminal history record information.
24    (a) An employer may not base an adverse action, in whole or
25in part, against an employee or applicant, based on criminal



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1history record information without adhering to the
2requirements of this Act. Unless authorized by law, no inquiry
3or adverse action may be taken, based in whole or in part on:
4        (1) an arrest not leading to conviction;
5        (2) participation in or completion of a diversion or a
6    deferral of judgment program;
7        (3) a conviction that has been vacated or ordered
8    expunged, sealed, or impounded by a court;
9        (4) an adjudication or other information regarding a
10    matter processed through the juvenile court system; or
11        (5) information pertaining to an offense other than a
12    felony or misdemeanor.
13    (b) Before taking any adverse action based, in whole in
14part, on criminal history record information, the employer or
15the employer's agent shall provide the applicant or employee a
16written notice that includes:
17        (1) a copy of any criminal history report about the
18    individual obtained by the employer;
19        (2) the specific conviction or convictions that have a
20    direct relationship to the employment sought or for which
21    there is a federal, State, or local law prohibiting the
22    employer from employing or placing the applicant or
23    employee;
24        (3) a clear statement informing the applicant or
25    employee that he or she may provide information to the
26    employer that:



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1            (A) the criminal history record information is
2        inaccurate;
3            (B) the criminal history information is prohibited
4        from inquiry or consideration under Section (a); or
5            (C) there are mitigating circumstances that
6        demonstrate the individual's fitness for the position
7        including, but not limited to, activities since the
8        date of the offense and evidence of rehabilitation.
9    An employee or applicant has a period of not less than 7
10days from the date of notice within which the applicant or
11employee may provide to the employer information concerning
12rehabilitation and mitigating circumstances.
13    (c) An employer shall conduct a good faith, individualized
14assessment of any information provided by the applicant or
15employee before taking a final adverse action. This assessment
16shall include any evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation
17since the conviction or evidence about the accuracy of criminal
18history record information provided by the applicant or
20    (d) An employer must hold the position sought by the
21applicant or employee open until the individual provides
22additional information and the review of that information under
23subsection (c) or until the period of time to provide
24additional information under subsection (c) has passed if no
25information is provided. At or before the time the employer
26fills the position, the employer must provide the applicant or



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1employee with a final written determination that includes the
3        (1) a statement of the employer's final determination;
4        (2) a description of an appeal process, if any; and
5        (3) the earliest date, if any, when the individual may
6    reapply for the position.
7    Section 15. Retaliatory or discriminatory acts. A person
8shall not retaliate or discriminate against an applicant or
9employee because the person has done or was about to do any of
10the following:
11        (1) File a complaint under this Act.
12        (2) Testify, assist, or participate in an
13    investigation, proceeding, or action concerning a
14    violation of this Act.
15        (3) Oppose a violation of this Act.
16    Section 20. Waiver. An employer shall not require an
17applicant or employee to waive any right under this Act. An
18agreement by an applicant or employee to waive any right under
19this Act is invalid and unenforceable.
20    Section 25. Remedies for violation of the Act. An applicant
21or employee denied employment or discharged from employment
22because of his or her criminal history in violation of this Act
23may recover from the employer in a civil action:



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1         (1) damages in the amount of $2,000 or actual damages,
2    whichever is greater;
3         (2) costs and such reasonable attorney's fees as may
4    be allowed by the court; and
5         (3) any other relief as may be appropriate, including
6    punitive damages.
7    Section 30. Civil immunity. Except for willful or wanton
8misconduct or when required by law, an employer shall not be
9civilly liable for failure to consider criminal history record
10information of an applicant or employee or for limiting its
11inquiry into an applicant's or employee's criminal history
12pursuant this Act.
13    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
14becoming law.