Seattle Criminal Background Ordinance

June 2013
Employer Alert
On June 10, 2013, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance restricting employers’ ability to access public records and conduct criminal background checks on potential employees. The ordinance will take effect on November 1, 2013 if approved by Mayor Mike McGinn, which is expected. Under the ordinance—which covers all private employers with one or more employees and applies to positions requiring at least 50 percent of working time within the Seattle city limits—employers are no longer able to inquire about a potential employee’s criminal history or to conduct a background check until a conditional offer of employment is given.