Virginia State Background Check Laws | VA Employment | Crimcheck
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Virginia State Background Check Laws

What are Virginia’s background check and ban-the-box laws?

On April 3, 2015 the Virginia governor issued Executive Order 41 which banned the box on job applications for state employment. The Executive Order also prohibits state employers from making adverse employment decisions on the basis of past criminal history, unless the crimes are directly job-related. The Executive Order applies only to those public-sector jobs subject to the governor’s authority. Background checks will only be conducted after the job applicant has demonstrated that they are qualified for the position and are being considered for the position. If an adverse action is contemplated, an individualized assessment will be conducted.

The following cities and counties have also created fair-hiring and ban-the-box policies:

Alexandria, VA: On March 19, 2014, Alexandria’s City Manager issued a policy memorandum that banned the box on city job applications. Background checks will only be performed after a conditional offer of employment is made.

Arlington County, VA: In November 2014, Arlington County issued an administrative policy that banned the box on county employment applications, with the exception of applications for public safety positions. Although the County conducts background checks on all applicants prior to employment, the background check is delayed until the applicant is referred for an interview.  Applicants with criminal records are given an opportunity to provide a written explanation of their record.

Blacksburg, VA: On January 19, 2016 the Blacksburg Town Council banned the box on Town employment applications.  Background checks will only be performed after the best applicant has been identified. Any criminal history revealed must be evaluated in relationship to the requirements of the job during an individualized assessment incorporating the EEOC criteria.

Charlottesville, VA: In March 2014, the Charlottesville City Council banned the box from city job applications. Background checks will be conducted prior to final offers of employment.

Danville, VA: On June 17, 2014 the Danville mayor signed a resolution that banned the box from city employment applications. Background checks are performed only after a conditional offer of employment has been made. In cases where criminal history is revealed, an individualized assessment using the EEOC criteria is made. The applicant is given the opportunity to explain their criminal history.

Fairfax County, VA: In September 2014, the Fairfax County Supervisor issued a statement that banned the box on County job applications, except for applications for public safety jobs and other sensitive positions, and also delayed the performance of background checks until after an offer of conditional employment has been made.

Fredericksburg, VA: In 2014 the Fredericksburg City Manager approved a new administrative policy that delayed the performance of criminal background checks until after a conditional offer of employment. If any adverse information is found, the City conducts an individualized assessment that incorporates the EEOC criteria, especially in regard to the age and nature of the offense as it relates to the job. If adverse action is indicated, the applicant will be notified in writing of the disqualifying information and the name of the company that ran the background check. The job applicant will be given an opportunity to provide corrections to their record.

Harrisonburg, VA: On August 26, 2014 the Harrisonburg City Council banned the box on City job applications. Background checks are requested after there is a conditional offer of employment. If there is a need for adverse action, the applicant is notified and given the chance to correct or explain errors.

Henry County, VA: On July 1, 2016, Henry County banned the box from its employment applications.

Montgomery County, VA: On January 26, 2016, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors passed Resolution R-FY-15-76, which banned the box on County job applications.

Newport News, VA: An Administrative Policy went into effect on October 1, 2012 that banned the box from city employment applications, with the exception of public safety, elder care, and child welfare positions. Newport News was the first city in Virginia to ban the box. When background checks are run, they are evaluated using the EEOC guidance.

Norfolk, VA: On July 23, 2013 the City of Norfolk issued an administrative policy that banned the box on all City employment applications, except for certain sensitive positions. The City uses the EEOC criteria in reviewing criminal history revealed in background checks.

Petersburg, VA: On September 3, 2013, the Petersburg City Council adopted a resolution to ban the box on City job applications. Applicants for public safety, sensitive and security-related positions are still required to complete a supplemental form. Background checks are performed after a conditional offer of employment.

Portsmouth, VA: In June 2013, the Portsmouth City Manager issued an administrative policy to ban the box for City job applications.

Prince William County, VA: Effective November 1, 2015 the Prince William, Board of County Supervisors enacted Resolution 15-672 (October 13, 2015) banning the box on County employment applications, with the exception of certain law enforcement jobs. Criminal history is only requested after the interview process.

Richmond, VA: On March 25, 2013 the Richmond City Council passed Resolution No. 2013-R, 87-85 that banned the box on city job applications, except for positions exempted by law.

Roanoke, VA: On October 9, 2014 the Roanoke City Manager announced an administrative policy that would go into effect in January 2015, banning the box from most city job applications.

Staunton, VA: On February 25, 2016 the Staunton City Council banned the box from City employment applications. Job candidates that reach the interview stage are required to complete a criminal conviction disclosure form after the interview.

Virginia Beach, VA: In November 2013, the City of Virginia Beach banned the box from its job applications. Background checks are requested upon a conditional offer of employment. The information in the background check is evaluated by comparing the nature of the crime to the job requirements. If adverse action is contemplated based on the background check, the applicant may inquire about the disqualifying information.

Cities Include: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond, Newport News, Alexandria, Roanoke, Portsmouth, Suffolk and more.

Note: This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with your own legal counsel for advice related to your state/locality.