Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Illinois

In Illinois, it is a civil rights violation for any Illinois employer to inquire about or to use arrest information or criminal history record information that has been ordered expunged, sealed or impounded as a basis for refusing to hire or for segregating employees or as a basis for decisions regarding recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal of employment, selection for training or apprenticeship, discharge, discipline, tenure or terms, privileges or conditions of employment.

State agencies, local governmental units and school districts and private organizations may utilize conviction information obtained from the Department of State Police in evaluating the qualifications and character of an employee or prospective employee.

Applicants for jobs in facilities run by the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities must submit to criminal background checks, based on their fingerprints. Applicants may be hired conditionally, pending the results of the background check, but must be notified that employment is dependent on the results of the check. Applicants who decline to submit to testing may be rejected.

Persons applying for medical licenses must undergo criminal history background checks.

Illinois requires fingerprints from every police officer and fire fighter to be sent to the FBI. Prior to appointment, fingerprints are required from all auxiliary police, sheriffs and state police.

Application for permanent employee registration cards requires fingerprints from all private alarm contractor, detective agency and security agency employees.

The Health Care Worker Background Check Act applies to all individuals employed or retained by a health care employer as home health care aides, nurse aides, personal care assistants, private duty nurse aides, day training personnel, or an individual working in any similar health-related occupation where he or she provides direct care.

Before hiring an employee or independent contractor to perform work involving facilities used for the distribution of natural gas to customers, a public utility must require a completed certificate listing the proposed employee's or independent contractor's violations of pertinent safety or environmental laws.