Earlier this year, the Kansas City, Mo., City Council passed an ordinance restricting an employer’s ability to ask about and use a job applicant’s criminal record information. The ordinance becomes effective on June 9, 2018. The ordinance applies to private employers with six or more employees conducting business in Kansas City, Mo.
Under the new ordinance, employers may not inquire about an applicant’s criminal history until after it has been determined that the individual is otherwise qualified for the position, and only after the applicant has been interviewed for the position. The inquiry may then be made of all applicants who are “within the final selection pool of candidates.” After the inquiry, employers may only take adverse action based on criminal record information only if the offenses are “reasonably related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.” The ordinance does not apply, however, if the employer is required to exclude applicants with criminal convictions due to a local, state, or federal law or regulation.
Complaints of violations of the new “ban-the-box” requirements will be handled by the Kansas City Human Relations Department. The remedies for violations could include civil penalties, reinstatement, back pay, and actual damages.
In light of this new ordinance, Bukaty Companies suggests that any organization hiring employees to work in Kansas City, Mo., review job applications and the hiring processes. For more information contact Randy Woehl, director of HR consulting services, at 913.345.0440.