A new Maine state law will stop employers from asking potential employees about previous criminal history when they apply for employment.

The new law which is due to go into effect beginning in October would fine an employer up to $500 per violation according to a report by Mainebiz.com

In addition to not being able to inquire about criminal history during the initial application process the law also will make it illegal for an employer to indicate they will not hire anyone with a criminal history in job solicitations or on applications.

The new law will not prevent employers from inquiring about a criminal history in the actual job interview.
With the hopes that such questions will occur further down the line in the hiring process so as to not persuade an employer based solely on criminal history if the candidate is otherwise qualified for the job.

Keep in mind these restrictions afforded in the law do have exceptions as well. For example certain Federal or State jobs that have mandates that prohibit some criminal convictions from being able to allow the hiring of the individual due to disqualification.

For many this will allow people to get their foot in the front door and highlight other merits such as education and vocational pursuits, often while incarcerated, to qualify themselves for the job opening before criminal history comes into question.

This new law will put Maine in-line with 14 other additional states that have enacted similar laws and require public and private employers to follow this law.

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