California SB 530 and AB 218.

California SB 530

California SB 530 was introduced by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson and would prohibit state and local government from requiring job applicants to disclose previous criminal history until later in the hiring process. This law follows a nationwide trend of other states and cities who have adopted similar legislation known as “Ban the Box”, which prohibits employers from asking about previous criminal history on an employment application.

This bill is in response to the fact that 1 in 4 Californians have either an arrest or a conviction record. Convictions often prohibit them from gaining employment, in a time when the US unemployment rate tops 7% and 65 million Americans have spent time in jail or prison.

California AB 218

California AB 218 would require public and private employers to remove the check box on their hiring applications which require applicants to disclose their previous criminal history. The bill will take effect July 1, 2014 and states that employers will have to wait later in the hiring process to inquire about a candidate’s previous criminal activity.

Exemptions include:

  1. The employer is required by law to obtain information regarding a conviction of an applicant.
  2. The applicant would be required to possess or use a firearm in the course of his or her employment.
  3. An individual who has been convicted of a crime is prohibited by law from holding the position sought by the applicant, regardless of whether that conviction has been expunged, judicially ordered sealed, statutorily eradicated, or judicially dismissed following probation.
  4. The employer is prohibited by law from hiring an applicant who has been convicted of a crime.

We encourage employers to review their employment application and hiring practices to ensure they are complying with these new laws.

Employers Choice Screening Legislative Alerts are provided as a free service to clients, friends and subscribers of Employers Choice Screening. The intent is to provide information of value to attorneys, human resource, security, and risk management professionals. The information contained in this e-mail alert is intended to provide useful information on the topics covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Your comments are appreciated.

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