Effective August 3, 2018

Arizona Limits Employer’s Liability When Hiring Former Offenders

Numerous laws exist to help people with criminal convictions find employment today. Arizona passed House Bill 2311 (HB 2311) to encourage businesses to hire or contract ex-offenders by limiting the employer’s liabilities.

HB 2311 states:

  • An employer is not liable for hiring an employee or contracting with an independent contractor who has previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
  • In a negligent hiring action that is filed against an employer for the acts of an employee or independent contractor and that is based on a theory of liability, the fact that the employee or independent contractor was previously convicted of a criminal offense before the employee's employment or independent contractor's contractual obligation began with the employer may not be introduced into evidence.

If a person who has a criminal record is either hired or contracted and later faces new criminal charges, the individual’s previous convictions cannot be introduced as evidence against the employer unless:

  • An employee or contractor who had a conviction for misuse of monies or property is accused of a similar crime after being granted a position that involved “discharging a fiduciary responsibility in the management of monies or property.”
  • An employee or contractor who had a conviction that included misappropriation of monies is accused of a similar crime.
  • An employee or contractor who was given a position in law enforcement or as a security guard is accused of a violent offense or excessive use of force.

HB 2311 was signed by Governor Doug Ducey and goes into effect August 3, 2018.

Arizona Is A Second Chance Employer

Executive Order 2017-07 (EO2017-07) was designed to establish Arizona as a “Second Chance” employer. The bill, which was signed by Governor Douglas A. Ducey, states that every resident should have an opportunity to work, even if they have a criminal record.


EO2017-07 sets laws that must be followed by all State Agencies during the hiring process:

  • State Agency job applications may not include questions about criminal records.
  • Applicants may not be automatically disqualified because they have a criminal record.
  • State Agencies must wait until after an initial interview to run a criminal background check.

In some cases, federal or state law prohibits people with any type of criminal record from holding certain positions. When a state agency is hiring for those positions, they may inquire about an applicant’s criminal history during the initial application process.

Backgrounds Online provides details about State Laws for informational purposes only. We do not provide legal services. Nothing on these pages or our site should be considered as legal advice or opinion.