Washington Governor Signs Ban The Box Bill

March 19, 2018

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed legislation to bar employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history before the applicant has been extended an offer of employment. The legislation is effective July 1, 2018.

The legislation applies to all employers, including public agencies, private individuals, businesses and corporations, contractors, temporary staffing agencies, training and apprenticeship programs, and job placement, referral, and employment agencies.

Exemptions. These prohibitions against criminal record inquiries do not apply to:

  • Any employer hiring a person who will or may have unsupervised access to children under the age of 18, or a vulnerable adult or person ;
  • Any employer, including a financial institution, that is expressly permitted or required under any federal or state law to inquire into, consider, or rely on information about an applicant's or employee's criminal record for employment purposes;
  • Employment by a general or limited authority Washington law enforcement agency or by a criminal justice agency;
  • An employer seeking a non-employee volunteer; and
  • Any entity required to comply with the rules or regulations of a self-regulatory organization.