Application and Interview
Applying for a job is the first opportunity you have to introduce yourself to a potential employer. Employers use applications to search for positive qualities in potential candidates and also to look for red flags that may make them think twice before bringing an applicant in for an interview. Because finding a job can be difficult, and the application is often the “first cut” for candidates seeking employment, it is important to know how an employer may consider the contents of your application.
Some employers perform background checks when you apply for a job. In Kentucky, employers may use a system called CourtNet to check for any criminal history. CourtNet is a statewide database operated by Kentucky’s Administrative Office of the Court. A criminal record search using this system may reveal previous charges in all 120 counties, amendments to those charges, and the final disposition of those charges. Once you are 18, all records are public and can affect your ability to get a job. For private employers in Kentucky, like a local convenience store or restaurant, the only records that cannot be accessed are juvenile records and those that have been expunged by the court or removed from your record. Both convictions and arrest records may be considered in hiring decisions and employers may be able to look up this information online. Because of this, it is important to be aware of what an employer may find in a background check and for you to be honest in your disclosures on an application.
There are other items to keep in mind when filling out a job application. Some items include information that you may or may not have to disclose to a potential employer. Importantly, the Kentucky Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on protected characteristics. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government authority that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against people in the area of employment. Employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and childbirth), national origin, gender, or disability is prohibited. Currently, sexual orientation is not a protected class for employment discrimination, although some Kentucky cities have passed “Fairness Ordinances” to change this law at the local level. If you feel as if you were not hired based on a disclosure on your application relating to the protected characteristics listed above, you may consider contacting an attorney to discuss your rights.