The new AB 1008 (“Ban the Box”) state law prohibits businesses with five or more employees from asking about a job applicant’s criminal background – either verbally or in writing – before an offer of employment is made.
Only after offering conditional employment can a business conduct a background check. If a criminal conviction is discovered, the employer must consider the time passed since the incident, and the seriousness of the conduct. If the decision is to rescind the job offer, the employer must notify the applicant in writing how their conviction would adversely effect the company and/or job position. A copy of the conviction report should be included, along with a note of their right to challenge the decision, request reconsideration, and/or file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Denied applicants have five business days to respond to the employer, and the business must reconsider their response before making a final decision.
Employers may not consider the following as a rejection:
(1) Convictions that were expunged or sealed;
(2) Arrests that did not result in conviction (some circumstances may be considered);
(3) Participation or referrals in a pretrial or post trial diversion program.
The new law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
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