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Conducting Criminal Record Checks in Wisconsin

Filed under Office & HR.

Employers in Wisconsin are permitted or required to conduct criminal record checks in accordance with these rules.

Employers may not request on an application form or otherwise ask an applicant or employee to supply information regarding any arrest or conviction record, unless there is a charge pending.

Exceptions include required criminal history background checks for:

  • employees of care and service residential facilities, including hospitals, personal care worker agencies, supportive home care service agencies
  • temporary employment agencies that provide caregivers to another entity
  • child welfare agencies
  • foster and group homes
  • day care centers

The following may be used to determine an individual's eligibility to work for an entity as a caregiver:

  • crimes of theft and robbery
  • financial card transaction crimes
  • identity theft
  • drug crimes

Discrimination because of an arrest record is permitted when employment depends on the bondability of the individual under a standard fidelity bond or when an equivalent bond is required by state or federal law, administrative regulation, or established business practice of the employer.

Refusing to employ or license, or suspending or barring from employment or licensing any individual who is subject to a pending criminal charge or has been convicted of any offense is permitted if the circumstances of the charge substantially relate to the circumstances of the particular job or licensed activity.

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