What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions?
Notice or advertisement cannot indicate any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on any protected category.
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries?
(a) Criminal records and arrests
Vermont has adopted the ban-the-box restriction for initial applications. An exception applies for positions where the law imposes limitations on hiring employees with criminal backgrounds, but the application questions must be limited to the disqualifying convictions. Employers may ask about convictions during the interview or they may condition employment on a criminal background check.
(b) Medical history
Employers may not require an employee to pay for a medical exam.
Employers cannot require genetic testing, or use genetic testing results or genetic information from a person or a member of a person’s family (18 V.S.A. Section 9333).
(c) Drug screening
Vermont imposes significant limitations on the use of drug testing. For job applicants, employers may test only after giving the applicant an offer of employment on the condition of a test result. The employer must then provide the applicant with a copy of its policy, a list of drugs to be tested, and a statement to say that therapeutic levels of prescription drugs are not reported. The test must comply with the administrative provisions of the law (21 V.S.A. Sections 511-519). The law imposes stringent restrictions for the testing of existing employees, including a prohibition on random testing. An employer may test only if it has probable cause to believe that an employee is under the influence and the employer meets numerous other requirements. If a test is positive, an employer cannot immediately terminate the employee, but must allow the employee to seek treatment.
(d) Credit checks
Subject to limited exceptions, employers may not enquire about an applicant’s credit report or credit history (21 V.S.A. Section 495(i)).
(e) Immigration status
Employers may not recruit, solicit or refer for employment, or employ, an individual who is not authorized to work in the United States.
(f) Social media
Vermont limits access to employee social media accounts (21 V.S.A. Section 495(l)). The law contains exceptions for conducting appropriate investigations and accessing an employer-issued device. It also includes retaliation protection.
Employers cannot inquire about the healthcare coverage of job applicants (21 V.S.A. Section 561) or an applicant’s current or past compensation (21 V.S.A. 495m).
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