SANTA FE — Private employers in New Mexico couldn’t ask job-seekers about their criminal history on an initial application under legislation approved by the Senate on Friday.
The proposal, Senate Bill 96, now heads to the House for consideration.
It would allow employers to make clear in an advertisement that they will conduct a background check or that a conviction could disqualify them from employment.
And they could ask applicants about any history of arrests or convictions later in the hiring process, just not on the initial application.
An applicant who believes an employer has violated the law could file a grievance under the state Human Rights Act — a process designed to allow the business and applicant resolve the issue without going to court, supporter said.
“We need to have some enforcement mechanism that isn’t draconian — that doesn’t invite lawsuits,” said Sen. Bill O’Neill, an Albuquerque Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill.