Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Connecticut.
On June 10, 2021, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Connecticut’s “Clean Slate” law, Public Act No. 21-32, which expands protections for applicants and employees with criminal records by providing for the automatic erasure of certain criminal records.
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What are the details?
Effective January 1, 2023, the new law allows for the erasure of criminal convictions depending on the classification of conviction and the date on which the judgment of conviction was entered. Eligible offenses include most misdemeanors, most class D and E felonies, and most unclassified felonies with a possible prison sentence of five years or less. Specifically:
- Any classified or unclassified misdemeanor offenses will be erased seven years from the date on which the court entered the person’s most recent judgment of conviction;
- Any class D or E felony or unclassified felony carrying a term of imprisonment of five years or less will be erased ten years from the date on which the court entered the person’s most recent judgment of conviction;
- Any family violence crimes and sexual offenses are ineligible for erasure.
Erasures for qualifying convictions will occur automatically for offenses occurring on or after January 1, 2000. If a person committed a misdemeanor before reaching the age of 18, such convictions will be automatically erased if the offense occurred on or after January 1, 2000, and before July 1, 2012. Other offenses can be erased by way of petition.
In some cases, for example, for education employees, inquiry into a criminal record is permissible. In those cases, the clean slate law requires notice, in clear and conspicuous language, defining erased records and informing the applicant that they are not required to disclose arrests or convictions that have been erased. Further, employers are prohibited from advertising employment opportunities in a way that discriminates against individuals with erased criminal records.
Enforcement authority rests with the Connecticut Department of Labor, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and the Connecticut Superior Courts. Employees and applicants can file complaints about violations of this law with any of these authorities. Individuals filing civil actions may be entitled to injunctive relief, damages, and other remedies.
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For more information, please see the links below:
Article 1 – Article 2 – Article 3
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and ensure their employment opportunity advertisements and applications are compliant with the new law.