The law states that government employers cannot exclude someone from getting a job interview if the applicant has been convicted of a crime, and they cannot ask about a criminal record before the interview.
Rep. Sandra Hollins, a social worker who sponsored the new law, said people who have served time behind bars often find it tough to become a member of the workforce again if they are required on job applications to disclose or list criminal convictions before getting a chance to explain themselves. "You at least need to get the foot in the door," said Hollins, D-Salt Lake City. "My goal is to have the person get into the interview based on their qualifications."
However, once the person gets the interview, the employer can as the employer can ask about the applicant's history and decide whether to hire the person. If there is no interview process for the job, then the employer cannot ask about a criminal record until a conditional job offer is made to the applicant.
The rules will not apply to government jobs in law enforcement, criminal or juvenile justice, or any work with children or vulnerable adults. Any government agency that mainly handles finances or a fiduciary role would also be exempt, as would the Utah State Tax Commission and state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
This law puts Utah among 20 other states that have adopted similar rules.