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District of Columbia State Employment Laws

The District of Columbia has restrictions on what can be reported in a background screening report beyond what the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates.

Applicant/subject cannot be required to pay for a background check or a portion thereofAn employer cannot require any person to pay for criminal records.

See the statute here for more information.
Ban-the-Box: Use of criminal record only after a conditional offer of employmentEmployers with 10 or more employees (in DC) are prohibited from asking an applicant about convictions, arrests, or accusations until a conditional offer of employment is made. An employer may later withdraw a conditional offer of employment to an applicant based on criminal conviction information only for a “legitimate business reason.”

See the statute here for more information.

Notable exceptions: Other than employers of 9 employees or less, the Act does not apply: 1) when a federal or D.C. law or regulation “requires” the consideration of an applicant’s criminal history; 2) a position designated as part of a government program or obligation designed to employ those with criminal histories; 3) or to any facility or employer providing programs, services, or direct care to minors or vulnerable adults.
Use of Credit ReportEffective 3/17/2017, DC employers are restricted from considering credit reports in regard to employment decisions. See exceptions below.

See the statute here for more information.

Notable exceptions: The six exceptions are: (1) Where DC law requires a credit check. Can this supersede a general federal requirement? Probably not. (2) DC or campus police. (3) Employees of the office of the DC Chief Financial Officer. (4) Where DC law requires a security clearance. Again can this supersede federal law? Probably not. (5) Disclosures to the Board of Ethics and Accountability – not a likely CRA customer. (6) Financial institutions.

Additional Resources

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