Full Text of HB4837 101st General Assembly
HB4837 101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2019 and 2020
Introduced 2/18/2020, by Rep. Maurice A. West, II - Kelly M. Cassidy and Will Guzzardi
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
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
fees as allowed by the court; and (3) any other appropriate relief,
including punitive damages. Defines terms. Effective
A BILL FOR
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AN ACT concerning employment.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Employee Background Fairness Act.
As used in this Act:
"Adverse action" means to fail or refuse to hire an
applicant, to discharge or to not promote any employee, or to
classify employees in a way that would deprive or tend to
deprive any individual of employment opportunities.
"Applicant" means a person pursuing employment with an
"Conviction" means a judgment of conviction or sentence
entered upon a plea of guilty or upon a verdict or finding of
guilty of a criminal offense, rendered by a legally constituted
jury or by a court in a case without a jury. For purposes of
this Act, an order of supervision or qualified probation, as
defined by Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act, that
has been discharged or dismissed shall not be deemed a
"Criminal history record information" means records of
arrest, complaint, indictment, or any disposition arising
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"Criminal history report" means any written, oral, or other
communication of information that includes criminal history
record information about a natural person, produced by law
enforcement or police agencies, courts, a consumer reporting
agency, or an employment screening agency or business.
"Direct relationship" means a consideration of whether the
employment position offers the opportunity for the same or a
similar offense to occur and whether circumstances leading to
the conduct for which the person was convicted will recur in
the employment position.
"Employee" means an individual who receives compensation
for performing services for an employer under an express or
implied contract of hire.
"Employer" means an individual or entity that permits one
or more individuals to work, accepts applications for
employment, or is an agent of an employer.
"Employment" means any occupation or vocation, including,
but not limited to, temporary or seasonal work, work through a
temporary or other employment agency, or any form of vocational
or educational training program for which an individual
receives compensation for performing services for an employer
under an express or implied contract for hire.
Use of criminal history record information.
(a) An employer may not base an adverse action, in whole or
in part, against an employee or applicant, based on criminal
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history record information without adhering to the
requirements of this Act. Unless authorized by law, no inquiry
or adverse action may be taken, based in whole or in part on:
(1) an arrest not leading to conviction;
(2) participation in or completion of a diversion or a
deferral of judgment program;
(3) a conviction that has been vacated or ordered
expunged, sealed, or impounded by a court;
(4) an adjudication or other information regarding a
matter processed through the juvenile court system; or
(5) information pertaining to an offense other than a
felony or misdemeanor.
(b) Before taking any adverse action based, in whole in
part, on criminal history record information, the employer or
the employer's agent shall provide the applicant or employee a
written notice that includes:
(1) a copy of any criminal history report about the
individual obtained by the employer;
(2) the specific conviction or convictions that have a
direct relationship to the employment sought or for which
there is a federal, State, or local law prohibiting the
employer from employing or placing the applicant or
(3) a clear statement informing the applicant or
employee that he or she may provide information to the
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(A) the criminal history record information is
(B) the criminal history information is prohibited
from inquiry or consideration under Section (a); or
(C) there are mitigating circumstances that
demonstrate the individual's fitness for the position
including, but not limited to, activities since the
date of the offense and evidence of rehabilitation.
An employee or applicant has a period of not less than 7
days from the date of notice within which the applicant or
employee may provide to the employer information concerning
rehabilitation and mitigating circumstances.
(c) An employer shall conduct a good faith, individualized
assessment of any information provided by the applicant or
employee before taking a final adverse action. This assessment
shall include any evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation
since the conviction or evidence about the accuracy of criminal
history record information provided by the applicant or
(d) An employer must hold the position sought by the
applicant or employee open until the individual provides
additional information and the review of that information under
subsection (c) or until the period of time to provide
additional information under subsection (c) has passed if no
information is provided. At or before the time the employer
fills the position, the employer must provide the applicant or
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employee with a final written determination that includes the
(1) a statement of the employer's final determination;
(2) a description of an appeal process, if any; and
(3) the earliest date, if any, when the individual may
reapply for the position.
Retaliatory or discriminatory acts.
shall not retaliate or discriminate against an applicant or
employee because the person has done or was about to do any of
(1) File a complaint under this Act.
(2) Testify, assist, or participate in an
investigation, proceeding, or action concerning a
violation of this Act.
(3) Oppose a violation of this Act.
An employer shall not require an
applicant or employee to waive any right under this Act. An
agreement by an applicant or employee to waive any right under
this Act is invalid and unenforceable.
Remedies for violation of the Act.
or employee denied employment or discharged from employment
because of his or her criminal history in violation of this Act
may recover from the employer in a civil action:
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(1) damages in the amount of $2,000 or actual damages,
whichever is greater;
(2) costs and such reasonable attorney's fees as may be
allowed by the court; and
(3) any other relief as may be appropriate, including
Except for willful or wanton
misconduct or when required by law, an employer shall not be
civilly liable for failure to consider criminal history record
information of an applicant or employee or for limiting its
inquiry into an applicant's or employee's criminal history
pursuant to this Act.
This Act takes effect upon