Is it okay to ask about an applicant's criminal history?

The rules regarding inquiries about criminal history vary dramatically depending on the location of the work and industry. Some employers are required by law or regulation to conduct background checks. Most are not. If not, employers must ensure that their inquiries do not unlawfully affect protected groups of employees. Erie County employers must become familiar with and comply with the Erie County Human Relations Ordinance, which prohibits inquiring about an applicant's criminal history until after a conditional job offer is made and limits inquiries about crimes to those under 10 years old.


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