Employer Use & Misuse of CCAP to Search Applicant’s Criminal Background

The latest issue of the State Bar’s InsideTrack has an excellent article on the use and misuse of CCAP by employers to explore a job applicant’s criminal background.

Employers, and the lawyers who advise them, must be prepared to use CCAP within the parameters of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA).

The WFEA provides, as is summarized in the CCAP notice quoted above, that it is illegal discrimination for an employer to refuse to hire an applicant (or to terminate or otherwise take adverse action against an employee) based on an arrest or conviction record. The WFEA makes people with arrest and conviction records a protected class, just as is the case with things like race, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.

However, there’s an exception to the rule. Unlawful discrimination does not occur if an employer bases its decision not to hire or to terminate based upon a conviction that is “substantially related” to the job.

But what does “substantially related” mean?  Read the full article for more on that.