Asking a Job Applicant If They Are a Convicted Felon Could Be a Violation of NM Employment Laws

Asking a Job Applicant If They Are a Convicted Felon Could Be a Violation of NM Employment Laws

  • Post published:June 11, 2019
  • Post category:News
Ask an applicant if they are a convicted felon on a job application?  The timing of such a question could be a violation of NM employment laws. 
Effective Friday June 14th, 2019, a new section of The Criminal Offender Employment Act will prohibit private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s arrest or conviction history on an initial employment application (written or electronic).
The employer may take into consideration an applicant’s conviction after review of the employment application and upon discussion of employment with the applicant. 
 
Nothing in the statute prohibits an employer from notifying the public or an applicant that the law or the employer’s policy could disqualify an applicant who has a certain criminal history from employment in particular positions with that employer (e.g., within a job posting or during an interview).  
 
It’s important that employers review their employment applications and relevant employment forms to ensure compliance with current laws.  Applicants who feel ‘aggrieved’ over an employer’s questions on arrest/conviction records (contrary to the new law) may seek relief under the Human Rights Act.  Employers with questions regarding “ban the box” should consult with counsel. 
 
This law is one of 160 other new laws that will take effect on Friday, June 14th. Read more HERE.