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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed the Best Candidate for the Job Act. The new “ban the box” law “prohibits a private employer or employment agency from inquiring about or considering an applicant’s criminal history until the applicant has been determined to be qualified for the job and selected for an interview.”

The governor had previously issued an administrative order in October 2013 that banned state agencies from asking candidates about their criminal history on initial job applications. The new law means that Illinois is the fifth state to have expanded its “ban the box” legislation to include private employers.

There are exceptions to the law, for example, it does not include jobs where employers are mandated to do criminal background checks by federal or state law. The legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2015.