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Reminder For Public Employers - Nevada's Ban The Box Law Takes Effect January 1, 2018

Volume 16, Issue 20
November 28, 2017

As the end of the year approaches, Nevada's public employers will need to adjust their hiring procedures and change their employment applications to conform with Nevada's new Ban The Box law that takes effect January 1, 2018. Ban The Box is an international campaign by civil rights groups and advocates for ex-offenders, aimed at persuading employers to remove from their job applications the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record. Its purpose is to enable ex-offenders to display their qualifications in the hiring process before being asked about their criminal records.

Nevada's Ban The Box law applies only to public employers. It provides an exception for peace officers, firefighters and any position that entails physical access to a computer or other equipment used to access the Nevada Criminal Justice Information System or the National Crime Information Center.

For other public employees, the law limits when the employer may consider an applicant's criminal history during the hiring process. Specifically, the criminal history of an applicant for a position in the unclassified service may now be considered only after the earliest of: (1) the final interview conducted in person; (2) the appointing authority has made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant; or (3) if applicable, the applicant has been certified by the Administrator of Human Resources. The criminal history of an applicant for a position in the classified service may now be considered only after the earliest of: (1) the final interview conducted in person; (2) the applicant has been certified by the Administrator; or (3) the appointing authority has made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant.

The new law also provides that before the criminal history of an applicant may be used as the basis for rescinding a conditional offer of employment or for rejection of the applicant, the appointing authority or Administrator must now consider specific factors such as whether the criminal offense directly relates to the responsibilities of the position for which the person has applied; the nature and severity of the criminal offense; the age of the person at the time of the commission of the criminal offense; the period of time between the criminal offense and the date of the employment application; and any information demonstrating the person's rehabilitation. If the criminal history of an applicant is used as the basis for rejecting the applicant or rescinding a conditional offer of employment, the employer must provide to the applicant a written statement that specifically states the evidence presented and the reason for the rejection/rescission.

Finally, the new law requires that public employers change their employment applications. Applicants must now be notified via the application that a record of conviction will not necessarily bar the applicant from employment, as well as the factors the employer will take into account if an applicant has a criminal history.

Violation of this new law is an unlawful employment practice. Applicants who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC). The NERC has published a Guidance for employers on these new requirements that can be accessed here. To read the new law, click here.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.