State of Illinois
2013 and 2014


Introduced , by Rep. Rita Mayfield


New Act

    Creates the Best Candidate for the Job Act. Provides that an employer may not inquire into or require disclosure of a job applicant's criminal record or criminal history before the candidate has been notified that the candidate has been selected for a job interview or has been offered a conditional offer of employment. Requires consideration of the nature and gravity of a candidate's conviction record, the time elapsed since the conviction, and whether the conviction has a direct bearing on the candidate's fitness before excluding a candidate. Authorizes civil remedies. Provides that the Department of Labor may impose penalties for violations. Effective January 1, 2015.

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HB5701LRB098 18610 JLS 55483 b

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 Best
5Candidate for the Job Act.
6    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds that it is
7in the public interest to do more to give Illinois employers
8access to the broadest pool of qualified applicants possible,
9observe the civil rights of those seeking employment, and
10ensure that all qualified applicants are properly considered
11for employment opportunities and are not pre-screened or denied
12an employment opportunity unnecessarily or unjustly.
13    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
14    "Business necessity" means an employer finds that
15excluding a candidate from employment is necessary to avoid a
16substantial risk to property or the safety or welfare of
17specific individuals or the general public.
18    "Candidate" means a person considered by an employer when
19identifying potential employees including, but not limited to,
20persons who ask to be considered for employment, request
21information from an employer regarding potential employment,
22or are pursuing employment with an employer in response to some



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1indication that an employer may have employment opportunities
3    "Employer" means an entity or person that employs one or
4more persons.
5    "Employment" means an occupation or vocation.
6    "Employment application" means a form used by an employer
7to help determine a candidate's suitability for employment that
8is completed before a conditional offer of employment or
9written notification of an intent to interview by the employer.
10    Section 15. Employer pre-screening.
11    (a) An employer may not, on the face of an employment
12application or through any other means, inquire about or into,
13consider, or require disclosure of the criminal record or
14criminal history of a candidate for employment until the
15candidate has been notified that he or she has been selected
16for an interview by the employer or, if there is not an
17interview, a conditional offer of employment has been made to
18the candidate.
19    (b) The requirements set forth in subsection (a) do not
20apply if an employer is required to exclude candidates with
21certain criminal convictions from employment due to federal or
22State law.
23    (c) This Section does not prohibit an employer from
24notifying candidates that law or the employer's policy may
25disqualify an individual based upon criminal conviction



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1history if the exclusion is job-related.
2    Section 20. Hiring candidates and employer protections.
3    (a) An employer may exclude a candidate from employment
4only if it is a business necessity after first considering the
5following: the nature and gravity of the candidate's conviction
6record; the amount of time that has passed since the relevant
7conviction or convictions or the completion of the sentence for
8the conviction in question; and whether the conviction or
9convictions have a direct bearing on the candidate's fitness to
10perform one or more essential duties of the employment in
12    (b) An employer that demonstrates that it has hired a
13candidate pursuant to this Act is not civilly or criminally
14liable for an act or omission by the candidate except for a
15willful or wanton act by the employer in hiring the candidate.
16In any legal proceeding against an employer regarding the
17employment of a candidate, the employer shall have a rebuttable
18presumption that the employer performed its due diligence and
19acted in good faith in hiring the candidate.
20    Section 25. Remedies.
21    (a) A candidate or class of candidates injured by a
22violation of this Act may bring a civil action in the circuit
23court to obtain injunctive relief, damages, or both.
24    (b) The court shall award costs, reasonable litigation



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1expenses, and reasonable attorney's fees to a person who
2prevails as a plaintiff in an action authorized under
3subsection (a) of this Section.
4    Section 30. Violations; penalties. The Illinois Department
5of Labor shall investigate any alleged violation of this Act by
6an employer. If the Department finds that a violation has
7occurred, the Director may impose the following penalties:
8        (1) For the first violation, the Director shall issue a
9    written warning to the employer that includes a notice
10    setting forth the penalties for subsequent violations and
11    stating that the employer has 30 days to remedy the
12    violation.
13        (2) For second and subsequent violations, or if the
14    first violation is not remedied within 30 days after notice
15    by the Department, the Director may impose a civil penalty
16    of up to $500 after notice to the employer and an
17    opportunity for the employer to be heard in an
18    administrative hearing. The Attorney General may bring an
19    action in the circuit court to enforce the collection of
20    any civil penalty imposed.
21    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
221, 2015.