Changes to Discipline Reporting Requirements in CA

Getting fired from a job is never a good thing. Not only are you out of a job, but you now also may have trouble getting a job in the future, because many job applications ask if you have ever been terminated from any employment position in the past. Even if you were not terminated but subject to formal discipline at your past job, you may have to report that on a new application.

gavel7According to a recent news article form the Sacramento Bee, those applying for state jobs in California may no longer have to report past discipline on job applications and would be eligible to reapply for other state positions without disclosing past discipline, under a proposed piece of legislation. The new bill is entitled Assembly bill AB 466 and is currently being pushed forward with support of various public employee unions. The bill would allow state employees who are fired from their jobs and had agreed to never seek employment with a particular agency to apply for state employment in the future and not have to disclose the disciplinary settlement on the application.

As our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, in some cases, when an employee is subject to discipline, he or she may agree to settle the matter. This may involve a lesser sanction and may affect payment of benefits, and, in exchange, the employee must agree not to seek employment with that particular agency in the future. However, if an employee agrees to never seek state employment of any kind in the future, the current version of AB 466 would not apply to the situation, and the employee would have to list the discipline and settlement agreement on the application, which would generally prevent the applicant from being hired.

While this may seem like a strange law the legislature is attempting to pass, many feel it is needed, because there is a great deal of confusion concerning the current state of the law, and this bill would go a long way to clearing up the confusion. The confusion exists because when another related measure was enacted last year, state employment application forms were amended to require applicants to disclose whether they had ever entered into a disciplinary agreement in the past that prohibited them from applying for any state job in the future.

While this may seem like a simple question, it was difficult for those applicants to answer truthfully who entered a disciplinary settlement that prevented them from applying for a job with one particular state agency. When answering the question if you ever entered an agreement that would ban you from applying for a state job in the future, it could be viewed that an agreement banning one from applying with a single agency required an affirmative answer to that question, and this would make them look ineligible for employment, even though they technically are eligible.

Due to the fact that some employee applications are extremely technical, it may be advisable to consult with an experienced employment attorney prior to answering any of the questions.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

Measure loosens discipline disclosure requirements for California state workers, July 13, 2015, The State Worker

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Arlington v. Miller’s Trucking – Oral Wage Agreement Weighed, March 15, 2015, Costa Mesa Overtime Lawyer Blog