Colorado Criminal Background Check Laws

Colorado Background Check Laws – Summary

Job seekers an employees in the state of Colorado have a little bit of extra protection when it comes to background checks.  There are a few protections in Colorado that they don’t have in most states.  Colorado residents are mostly protected by use of record sealing – and most of the protection in background checks comes from the fact that the records employers would find would be sealed.

As always, regardless of what state you are in, it is good for you to run a Self background check to see what shows up on your report.

The Details – What shows up on an employment background check in Colorado
Colorado does a pretty good job of protecting employees, with a 7 year limit on convictions, mostly, and no arrests without conviction.  Colorado Employers have fairly decent rights too. . .

Pending Arrests, and Arrests
Colorado protects employees for arrests, pending arrests – sealing those records and telling employers they are off limits.  In this way, Colorado is very similar to Virginia - where they make it a misdemeanor if an employer asks you about ANY arrest – in other states you won’t be so lucky similar laws (see our article Will an arrest show up on my background check).

Some states have made laws that say an employer cannot use information about misdemeanor convictions.  In Colorado, the background check law makes no distinction about whether your past conviction was a felony or misdemeanor.

I was just a mixed up kid
Ok, if you had your past conviction sealed, they can’t ask you about it and it can’t be reported on.  However, there is no rule that prevents them from asking about offenses that occurred as a Juvenile that were not sealed.

Interestingly, some states have special exceptions for certain crimes  -California doesn’t allow employers to look at pot busts more than 2 years old.  Despite Marijuana now being legal in the State of Colorado, past Marijuana offenses are still fair game for employers.  interview.

A 7 year limit on convictions
Colorado puts a 7 year limit on convictions if the the job pays less than $75,000.  If the job pays over $75,000, employers can look back longer.  Colorado convictions are automatically sealed after 10 years, so, they won’t find that (no matter what state you are in).  Though they could find a conviction that is over 10 years if it occurred outside of Colorado (depending on the laws of that state)

Mandatory Criminal Background Checks
Most jobs in law enforcement, education, childcare, elderly care, and security companies are required by law to have a background check and fingerprints taken.

In Colorado  they have to let you know they are running a background check on you, and if they find something on the background check that causes them not to hire you, they have to tell you and give you a chance to dispute it with the background check company.

Sealed Records
What is unique about Colorado is, they specify that the employee or job seeker can deny the existence of any sealed records if the employer asks about them.  Most states specify what an employer can look at, but they fail to give instructions about what a job seeker is allowed to see.  This change is warranted and welcomed, as it makes it clear to both the employer and job seeker.


Disclaimer:  Nothing at this website is nor is it intended to be legal advice. No warranty is made or intended that the information at this site is current or correctly expressed or interpreted.