Hawaii Strengthens Ban-the-Box Measures
On September 15, 2020, the governor of Hawaii signed into law Act 051 (20), creating new rules regarding potential employees’ criminal history.
What are the details?
Act 051 (20) will reduce the effective window that employers may consider a potential employees criminal record. Previously, the Ban-the-Box measure would allow employers to consider any criminal history within 10 years, both misdemeanors and felonies. The new rules differentiate between misdemeanors and felonies. The window for misdemeanors is now five years and the window for felonies is seven years. If a prospective employee has a criminal record outside of the five or seven-year window, an employer cannot consider these crimes when considering the applicant for hiring. However, there are still some exemptions to hiring to this rule, for example, Department of Education employees.
Additionally, employers may only consider the criminal history of an employee after they applicant has received a conditional job offer. The employer may still deny the potential employee if the criminal history is reasonably related to the job.
An article going over these changes can be found here.
Act 051 (20) can be found here.
What do employers need to do?
Hawaii employers should review their hiring practices. It is recommended that employers consult with their employment attorneys before turning down potential employees, solely based on their criminal history.