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Preemployment Screening and Testing: Illinois

Preemployment Screening and Testing requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Ina R. Silvergleid

Summary

  • Illinois law prohibits most employers from using a job applicant's or employee's credit history or other credit information as a factor in hiring or discharging that individual. The law excludes certain employers and jobs if an individual's credit history is a bona fide occupational requirement. See Credit Checks.
  • An Illinois employer may ask job applicants whether they have any criminal convictions (misdemeanors or felonies). Employers are barred from asking about arrests or criminal convictions that have been expunged, sealed or been subject to executive clemency or pardon under state or federal law. See Background Checks.
  • A new state law prohibits most private employers from making criminal history inquiries on job applications. See Ban the Box.
  • Illinois employers are not prohibited from verifying a job applicant's educational or prior work history. Employers should advise job applicants that such background checks will be done and, if possible, obtain applicants' authorization. See Employment and Education Verifications.
  • Use of the voluntary federal E-Verify system to verify a job applicant's immigration status is strictly regulated in Illinois. See E-Verify.
  • Medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, but this does not affect employer drug-free workplace policies. See Medical Marijuana Law.
  • Illinois employers are barred from using a voice stress analyzer during preemployment job screenings. Employers are not prohibited from using polygraph testing during preemployment screening but may not ask about an applicant's religious, racial or political beliefs, union activities or affiliations, or sexual preferences. See Ability and Honesty Testing.