Colorado: Limits on Job Applicants’ Criminal History Inquiries


All Employers with CO Employees


September 1, 2019 and September 1, 2021


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Effective September 1, 2019 for employers with 11 or more employees, and effective September 1, 2021 for employers of all sizes, HB19-1025 prohibits employers from:

  • Advertising that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position;
  • Placing a statement in an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position; or
  • Inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application.

However, an employer may obtain a job applicant’s publicly available criminal background report at any time. An employer is exempt from these restrictions when:

  • The law prohibits a person who has a particular criminal history from being employed in a particular job;
  • The employer is participating in a program to encourage employment of people with criminal histories; or
  • The employer is required by law to conduct a criminal history record check for the particular position.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment may issue warnings and orders of compliance for violations and, for second or subsequent violations, impose civil penalties. A violation of the restrictions does not create a private cause of action, and the bill does not create a protected class under employment anti-discrimination laws.

Action Items

  1. Have employment applications revised to exclude criminal history inquiries.
  2. Have job advertisements reviewed for appropriate wording.
  3. Have hiring processes updated to be consistent with the new requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

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