On July 19, 2014, Governor Quinn signed into law the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act. The Act prohibits private employers (who employ 15 or more employees) and employment agencies from: (1) conducting criminal background checks, or (2) asking about, considering, or requiring disclosure of a job applicant’s criminal record, background, or history, until after the applicant is: (a) deemed qualified for the position, and (b) notified that he or she has been selected for an interview. The new law becomes effective on January 1, 2015.

Employers should review and revise their job application forms to ensure that they are compliant with the new Illinois law. Employers should also review their hiring policies and procedures to stay clear of this new employment law land-mine.