Public employers and licensing agencies must demonstrate, before they may reject an applicant based on criminal history, that a conviction is “directly related” to a job or license, and that the applicant has failed to show “sufficient rehabilitation and present fitness to perform.”  Rehabilitation may be demonstrated by avoiding arrest for a year after release or by successful completion of probation or parole.  Public employers and licensing boards are prohibited from considering non-conviction records, convictions that have been expunged, or misdemeanors that do not carry a prison term.  They must give written reasons for a denial, and inform the applicant of applicable grievance procedures, the earliest date the person may reapply, and that evidence of rehabilitation will be considered.  In 2022 first amendment of law in many years established a binding preliminary determination procedure, imposed reporting requirements on licensing boards.

The general licnsing rules do not apply to certain licenses, notably including licenses issued by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health, which control access to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state, and whose restrictions are severe.