Washington DC
  • Updated on 12 Mar 2020
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Washington DC

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Ban-The-Box & Fair Hiring Laws By State

We update this overview of ban-the-box rules often. But laws change quickly, and we cannot guarantee all information is current. Always consult your attorney for legal advice.

Ban-the-box compliance, targeted screens, and individualized assessments apply only when taking adverse action due to criminal records. They are not required when taking adverse action based on non-criminal records.


Who must follow: This ban-the-box law applies to all employers in the District of Columbia who employ more than 10 people within the District.

Timing of inquiry: Employers in Washington, DC, may only inquire into criminal history after making a conditional offer.

Consideration of records: The employer may only ask about criminal conviction(s) and pending cases. The employer can never inquire into arrests or criminal accusations that aren’t pending.

Adverse action implications:

  • Pre-adverse action notice: A copy of the document Notice of Right to File Complaint must be included with a pre-adverse action notice.
  • Individualized assessment: Employers covered under this law must conduct an individualized assessment prior to sending a final adverse action notice.
  • Revocation of conditional offer: An employer may only 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 individualized assessment, which incorporates EEOC criteria.
  • Candidate’s right to access: If an applicant believes that a conditional offer was terminated on the basis of a criminal conviction, the applicant may request, within 30 days after the adverse action, that the employer provide the applicant within 30 days after the receipt of the request:
  1. A copy of any and all records procured by the employer in consideration of the applicant, including criminal records; and
  2. A notice that advises the applicant of his or her opportunity to file an administrative complaint with the Office of Human Rights.
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