Ever wonder what you can and cannot ask a job applicant? Certain questions – such as family planning and disability status – are against the law in all states. However, certain issues, such as a potential employee’s criminal history, are not prohibited federally but limited on a state or local basis.
Effective on February 29, Maryland’s new state law dictates that employers with 15 or more total employees are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s criminal history before the first interview. This law, commonly known as “ban-the-box” therefore prevents employers from asking criminal background-related questions on the initial application for a position. It does not, however, prevent employers from asking about criminal histories or running criminal background checks after the first interview.
It should be noted that Maryland’s state law provides less constraints on employers than the local Baltimore, Prince George, and Montgomery County ban-the-box laws. The District of Columbia similarly places more restrictions on employers’ inquiries into applicants’ criminal histories. As such, I recommend checking the jurisdiction where an employee works (even if it is telework) to verify what you can and cannot inquire about. Making sure that a policy meets the most-restrictive jurisdiction (rather than the least restrictive) will ensure compliance and reduce liability.
ABOUT THEODORA STRINGHAM
email@example.com | 703-745-1849
Theodora Stringham assists individuals, businesses, and organizations with growing successfully while minimizing liability. Focusing on real estate and personnel needs, Ms. Stringham executes sustainable plans for real estate development and employee matters. She provides comprehensive representation for everyday growth issues, including, but not limited to, re-zonings, site plan approvals, eminent domain/valuation concerns, employment discrimination, and disciplinary issues. Ms. Stringham’s scope of representation ranges from identifying potential liability and providing counseling/trainings, all the way through representation at trial.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing full-service law firms in the United States. With 14 offices in seven states, and the District of Columbia, and growing by 50% in two years through expansions in New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, Offit Kurman is well-positioned to meet the legal needs of dynamic businesses and the individuals who own and operate them. For over 30 years, we’ve represented privately held companies and families of wealth throughout their business life cycles.
Whatever and wherever your industry, Offit Kurman is the better way to protect your business, preserve your family’s wealth, and resolve your most challenging legal conflicts. At Offit Kurman, we distinguish ourselves by the quality and breadth of our legal services—as well as our unique operational structure, which encourages a culture of collaboration and entrepreneurialism. The same approach that makes our firm attractive to legal practitioners also gives clients access to experienced counsel in every area of the law.
Find out why Offit Kurman is The Better Way to protect your business, your assets and your family by connecting via our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages. You can also sign up to receive LawMatters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.
DELAWARE | MARYLAND | NEW JERSEY | NEW YORK | NORTH CAROLINA | PENNSYLVANIA | VIRGINIA | WASHINGTON, DC