On February 16, 2017, California assembly members introduced Assembly Bill 1008, which proposes to add a section to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) containing state-wide restrictions on an employer’s ability to make pre-hire and other employment decisions based on an applicant or employee’s criminal records, as well as a “ban-the-box” element.
If it becomes law, AB 1008 would make it unlawful for a California employer to:
- Include on an application for employment any question seeking disclosure of applicant’s criminal history;
- Inquire into or consider the conviction history of an applicant before the applicant receives a conditional offer of employment; and
- Consider, distribute, or disseminate information that California already prohibits employers from considering (such as arrests that did not result in a conviction) as well as (1) misdemeanor convictions for which no jail sentence can be imposed, (2) infractions or misdemeanor convictions for which three years have passed since the date of the conviction and (3) felony convictions for which seven years have passed since the date of conviction.
AB 1008 would also require an employer who intends to deny employment because of a prior conviction to conduct an individualized assessment of whether the applicant’s conviction history has a “direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job that justify denying the applicant the position.” In this regard, the employer would be required to consider the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct, the time that has passed since the offense or conduct and completion of the sentence, and the nature of the job held or sought.
If you have reason to believe that an employer or potential employer has engaged in unlawful conduct in connection with employment applications or actions based on your criminal history, you may be entitled to legal compensation under the law. Please contact us at 310.789.2145 for a free consultation.