Washington State Enacts Fair Chance Act

The Washington Fair Chance Act (HB 1298), which becomes effective in June 2018, prohibits employers from obtaining any information about an applicants criminal record until after the employer initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. It also makes it unlawful for employers to advertise employment openings in a way that discourages those with criminal records from applying and to implement a policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes individuals with a criminal record prior to an initial determination. The Act emphasizes public education, and bars employees from suing under the Act for damages, while excluding certain individuals and employers, such as those who will or may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults.

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