District of Columbia Passes Bill to “Ban-the-Box” on Criminal Records

(Last Updated On: October 26, 2018)

Criminal records

Special Announcement to all District of Columbia employers:

Effective Oct 21, 2014, the District of Columbia will impose an ordinance, the Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014. This will restrict employers in the city from asking about and using criminal records.

Under the law, the following restrictions will apply:

(1) An employer may not make any inquiry regarding, or to require any person to disclose or reveal, any criminal arrest or accusation that is not pending or did not result in a conviction.

(2) An employer may not make an inquiry about or require an applicant to disclose or reveal criminal records until after making a conditional offer of employment.

(3) Following the extension of a conditional offer of employment, an employer may only withdraw the conditional offer to an applicant or take an adverse action against an applicant for a legitimate business reason. The employer’s determination of a legitimate business reason must be reasonable in light of the following factors:

  • The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the employment sought or held by the applicant
  • The bearing, if any, of the criminal record for which the applicant was previously convicted, will have on his or her fitness or ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities
  • The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense
  • The age of the applicant at the time of the occurrence of the criminal offense
  • The frequency and seriousness of the criminal offense
  • Any information produced by the applicant, or produced on his or her behalf, in regard to his or her rehabilitation and good conduct since the occurrence of the criminal offense.

Exceptions to this law are:

  • Where a federal or District law or regulation requires the consideration of an applicant’s criminal record for the purposes of employment
  • To a position designated by the employer as part of a federal or District government program or obligation that is designed to encourage the employment of those with criminal records
  • To any facility or employer that provides programs, services, or direct care to minors or vulnerable adults.

The full text of the law can be found at Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014

This law will require a review of the hiring process in place and may require changes to that process.

In order to comply with this law, Justifacts recommends that you consult with your legal department. This will help your company determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your hiring process.


It is important to note that Justifacts is providing this information as a service to our clients. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice. We go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.


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