Rhode Island Criminal Background Check Laws

In Rhode Island, it is illegal for employers to ask a prospective employee if s/he has ever been arrested or charged with a crime.  An employer may ask a prospective employee if s/he has ever been convicted of a crime.  Nothing in Rhode Island laws prohibits an employer from asking a current employee if s/he has ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime. 

Caution: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes the position that a blanket or “per se” rule against hiring people who have been convicted of any crime is discriminatory.  Employers are advised to ensure that any rules against the hiring of convicts is directly related to business necessity.  Also, employers are encouraged to address each applicant’s situation on a case-by-case basis rather than have blanket policies which apply to all.  Click on this link for more information.