North Carolina Nixes Employer Inquiries Into Expunged Records

Author: David B. Weisenfeld, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 13, 2013

Effective December 1, 2013, a new North Carolina law will bar employers from asking applicants on a job application, during an interview "or otherwise" about criminal convictions, charges or arrests that have been expunged (eliminated completely). The measure follows closely on the heels of a similar Indiana law that was recently enacted.

The North Carolina law also provides protection to applicants who do not disclose an expunged conviction, charge or arrest during the hiring process. In addition, the expunged criminal record prohibition applies to educational institutions in North Carolina when interviewing applicants for admission or using application forms.

While neither applicants nor employees will be able to sue an employer under the measure, it gives the North Carolina Labor Commissioner the power to issue written warnings for a first violation plus issue penalties of up to $500 for each additional violation.

Employers in the state may still ask applicants about criminal convictions or charges that remain part of the public record. Additionally, the law does not apply to state or local law enforcement agencies that are authorized by North Carolina law to obtain confidential information for employment purposes.

Additional Resources

Recruiting and Hiring > Preemployment Screening and Testing: North Carolina

Recruiting and Hiring > Interviewing and Selecting Job Candidates: North Carolina