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Virgin Islands Passes Ban the Box Law

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On October 15th, the Virgin Islands passed a Ban the Box law impacting what employers may and may not inquire into as it pertains to criminal history checks. The law will take effect once the Governor signs the legislation.

Ban the Box Law

Bill No. 32-0230 is relatively straightforward and prohibits employers from asking applicants to disclose – in writing or orally – information concerning:
  1. An arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction;
  2. Information concerning referral to or participation in any pretrial or post trial diversion programs; or
  3. Any conviction that has been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed.
Employers may also not seek out, or use in an employment decision, any of the information outlined above. Employers may inquire into arrests for which the employee or applicant is out on bail.
 
The law does not impose any further requirements that would impact adverse action, job advertisements, posters in the workplace, etc. Employers should take note of the potential penalties as violations of this law can lead to criminal penalties including imprisonment not to exceed six (6) months, a fine not to exceed $500, or both. Individuals may also seek civil penalties in the form of actual damages or $200 (whichever is greater) plus costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
 
Want more information about this new Ban the Box laws and other similar legislation? Download our Ban the Box whitepaper.

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