Employer inquiry regarding criminal background

Hawaii criminal background check law is among the most protective in the nation. This article provides an overview of key points to consider about criminal background checks for employment in Hawaii, including:. In the meantime, here are some things keep in mind. Recent national headlines highlight the willingness of some employers to consider workers with a criminal background Chicago Tribune , PBS Newshour , Forbes.

Pre-Employment Inquiries and Arrest & Conviction

Driven by necessity—as record low unemployment rates make finding workers a challenge—the trend has created opportunities for some individuals to get back on their feet post-incarceration. The movement it helped spark to pass similar legislation across the country is widely known as the Ban the Box campaign. Ban the Box refers to the checkbox on job applications that asks applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime.

Currently, 32 states and over cities and counties have adopted Ban the Box laws. The federal government and many large corporations have voluntarily joined the movement as well.

Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know

Hawaii is one of only 11 states that extends this type of law to private employers. Inquiries into criminal history can be made, but only after the applicant receives a conditional offer of employment.

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Hawaii criminal history records are public information available through the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center , either in person or online. Employers may also choose to go through a third party provider of background check services; this is especially helpful if the check needs to cover other states or federal criminal history.

Background Reports

There are a few additional things to know and keep in mind when conducting a criminal background check for employment:. Employers who choose to conduct criminal background checks must consider the following before deciding whether that information disqualifies someone from employment: the type of offense, how serious it was, how long ago it was committed—in Hawaii only the last ten years may be considered, excluding incarceration time—as well as the nature of the job.

Enforcement and Penalties

The U. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission EEOC requires employers to give applicants with a record an opportunity to explain the circumstances of their criminal history. See specific types of searches and results that may be returned.

Criminal background and job performance

Many companies that screen job candidates or volunteers will hire a background check company like GoodHire to perform the search. This publicly available data generally originates from local, state and national law enforcement and government databases. The information that shows up on an employment background check is based in part on the type of check an employer orders from a CRA. If the employer requests from a CRA information related to your driving record, past employment, education, and professional licenses, that information, along with any criminal convictions will also appear in your check.


Keep in mind that other background checking companies may include this information in a background check. Some time limitations, based on state and federal laws, determine what can come back on an employment background check.

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  7. Keep in mind that criminal convictions are always reported , regardless of salary level, unless laws in the state where you live restrict conviction information to the past seven years. Some background checks return results the same day. However, many employers conduct more thorough checks that look for criminal records at the county level, where the records are the most up to date.

    Employment background checks have become a common part of the job search and hiring process. Education and employment verifications are not instantaneous. Disclaimer: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.