Along with many other states, New Mexico prohibits questions about felony convictions on job applications. Is your business complying with this new law?
“Ban the box” refers to the box on an employment application that is checked if the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony. In recent years, the movement to “Ban the box” has gained momentum as the practice allows employers to discriminate against people who have been convicted of a felony even though they have already served their time.
Many states have enacted “Ban the box” laws for private businesses. This means that in some states, regardless of the size of your company, asking about a felony past on the part of an employer could be considered illegal. Penalties vary by state, but generally all include substantial fines.
New Mexico adopted statewide legislation prohibiting private employers from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on the initial employment application in 2019. Along with the “Ban the box” law, New Mexico prohibits employers from asking applicants for information about a criminal record that has been sealed or expunged.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the “Criminal Offender Employment Act” into law on April 3, 2019. New Mexico employers can still make criminal background inquiries in New Mexico, but not until much later in the hiring process.
Are you a business owner who has concerns about the “Ban the Box” law in New Mexico? Give us a call today. We can consult with you about your specific situation to make sure you are correctly following state law. Contact us today.