Illinois Background Check Laws

What are Illinois background check and ban-the-box laws?

We update this overview of Illinois background check laws and ban-the-box rules often. But laws change quickly, and we cannot guarantee all information is current. Always consult your attorney for legal advice.

FCRA State Laws Ban-The-Box

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT (FCRA)

In order to set a standard for hiring policies, the federal government created the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, which monitors and protects both employers and job candidates.

State laws

20 ILCS 2635/7 applies to records obtained from the state police, not all criminal records.

Our Take: If a CRA obtains records from The Illinois Department of State Police, the Department requires the CRA to maintain on file a signed release of the criminal record by the applicant. If the record includes conviction information, the CRA must send the applicant a copy of the record. The applicant has 7 days from the time she or he receives the report to contact the CRA if the information is not right.

775 ILCS 5/2-103

Our Take: Employers are prohibited from basing an employment decision on an arrest not leading to conviction or on a criminal record that has been expunged, sealed, or impounded.

820 ILCS 70 (Employee Credit Privacy Act)

Our Take: Employers are prohibited from requesting or utilizing a current or prospective employee's credit information when making an employment decision unless an occupational requirement is established.

BAN-THE-BOX AND FAIR HIRING LAWS

STATE LAWS — PUBLIC COMPANIES

Who Must Follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to private employers in Illinois with 15 more more employees or employment agencies in Illinois.

Timing of inquiry: Private employers in Illinois may only inquire into criminal history after the appilcant has been selected for an interview or, if there is no interview, until after a conditional offer.

Consideration of records: Under a different law, 775 ILCS 5/2-103, employers cannot inquire into or use the fact of an arrest, or a record ordered expunged, sealed, or impounded, as a basis for adverse action.

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STATE LAWS — PRIVATE COMPANIES

Who Must Follow: This ban-the-box law applies only to public-sector employers for the State of Illinois.

Timing of Inquiry: Public sector employers for the State of Illinois may not inquire into criminal history until the candidate has been deemed eligible and is being considered for a specific position.

Adverse action implications:

  • Individualized assessment: This location requires the employer to conduct an individualized assessment prior to sending a final adverse action notice

 

Consideration of records: Under a different law, 775 ILCS 5/2-103, employers cannot inquire into or use the fact of an arrest, or a record ordered expunged, sealed, or impounded, as a basis for adverse action.

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LOCAL LAWS — PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COMPANIES

See which Illinois counties and cities have local ban-the-box and fair hiring laws.

GET ALL Ban-the-Box Laws