California passes statewide ban-the-box prohibition

California continues to expand its employment laws. As reported in a previous post, California just passed a statewide prohibition against inquiries into pay history. Now, California has joined the growing trend (reported in this previous post) of jurisdictions that prohibit inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history, with its own statewide ban-the-box law (California AB 1008). AB 1008 not only prohibits such inquiries but also prohibits the inclusion of any inquiry into criminal convictions on an employment application form. It also limits the use of criminal history information obtained as part of a background check.

With the addition of California, this brings the number of states having ban-the-box prohibitions to ten, and as previously reported, there are even more cities and local jurisdictions that have passed such prohibitions. Employers should continue to check with legal counsel whether the jurisdictions in which they operate have adopted ban-the-box prohibitions.

Source: Bill Text – AB-1008 Employment discrimination: conviction history.

2 replies
  1. Gene Ferraro
    Gene Ferraro says:

    Well folks, California leads the way again. But truth be told, CA is now the 10th state to pass such legislation. While one could agree that the intensions of such legislation are well intended, the true benefits to applicants and job-seekers is dubious. But what the heck, the plaintiff’s bar is constantly looking (and lobbies) for more arrows to add to its quiver that enable it to protect the disadvantaged and sue employers so as to fatten their own bank accounts. Moreover, everyone knows the real reason employers screen and hire people is to enable evil and untrained supervisors and managers access to more people to harass and discriminate against…after of course, the employer has spent thousands of dollars training those same new hires. As one former President once said, “You didn’t build that”; no, the well-meaning lawmakers in Sacramento did and America’s employers are merely bystanders.

    God Bless and Good Luck America

    Gene Ferraro

  2. Antony Heatwole
    Antony Heatwole says:

    Does this law prohibit employers from asking about ever being *charged* with a crime? The law seems to mention only convictions.


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