Louisiana’s Fair Chance Law Goes into Effect

Like New York City, the state of Louisiana now has its own “Fair Chance”-style law. Louisiana Act 406 places new restrictions on employers that consider a candidate’s criminal history when making hiring decisions. “Employers”, with some exceptions, are any employers, private or public, with 20 or more employees working in Louisiana. Passed through the Louisiana State Legislature in the 2021 regular session, the Act was signed into law by the Governor on June 16, 2021. It went into effect on August 1, 2021.

“Fair Chance”-style laws often restrict the types of criminal information employers can consider during the hiring process, or when certain criminal information can be considered. These types of laws may aim to ensure that candidates are hired based on their merit and qualifications, rather than their past criminal history.

Find out how Louisiana has adopted this type of law.

Restrictions Vary by Record Type

Employers hiring in Louisiana may want to pay attention to what types of criminal records they request or consider when making a hiring decision. Unless otherwise provided by law, Louisiana’s new law prohibits the request or consideration of arrest records or charges that have not led to a conviction, if such information is received in the course of a background check.

New Requirements for Considering Certain Criminal Records

When considering other types of criminal records, employers must “make an individual assessment of whether an applicant’s criminal history record has a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job.” The assessment should include consideration of the following:

  • The nature of the offense and how serious it was
  • How much time has passed since the offense, conduct, or conviction
  • The nature of the job

Additionally, employers may be required to provide their candidates with additional information. Under Louisiana’s new law, employers are required to provide the candidate with any background check information used during the hiring process upon the candidate’s written request.

Louisiana employers may want to review their hiring processes with their legal team to determine if they comply with the new state law.

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