New California Laws Protect Criminal Record and Salary History

It is hard enough to get a job these days even with a perfect record. Applicants with a criminal conviction on their record may find it nearly impossible.  Fortunately, pursuant to a new state law, most California employers in California will not be able to make any inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.  There is a also a new California employment law that will prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s past salary history.

California employment lawyersAs reported in a recent news article from The National Law Review, there are three new laws in California that once in effect, will require most employers in the state to modify their hiring practices. One of these is Assembly Bill 1008 (AB 1008), which prohibits employers from making inquiries into applicants criminal histories by the human resources department and any employment recruiters prior to an offer of employment.As our Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain,  once a conditional offer has been made, many companies will be able to make an inquiry into the prospective employee’s criminal history, but at this point, he or she is no longer facing competition for other applicants and the company has already spend money in conducting interviews and making the conditional offer.

If an employer decides to perform a criminal background check once a conditional offer has been made, they can do so.  However, if they decided not to hire the employee based upon the results of the criminal history check, the employer is required to show that the prospective employee’s criminal history had a direct and adverse relationship in regard to the job duties of the prospective employment. The company must then show it was justified in rejecting the offer based upon the prospective employee’s criminal history.  For example, if the applicant had theft or fraud charges on his or her record, and was applying for work as a book keeper, it would be possible that such an argument could be made that there is an adverse relationship between the applicant’s past history and the requirements of the new job.

Employers are also barred from considering, distributing or disseminating information regarding any of the following while conducting a background check after extending a conditional offer of employment:

  • An arrest not followed by conviction (except health care facilities where employee who would have regular access to patients was previously arrested for a sex offense);
  • Participation in or referral to a pre-trial or post-trial diversion program;
  • Convictions that were dismissed, expunged, sealed or statutorily eradicated by law.

Meanwhile, Assembly Bill 168 prohibits a prospective employee from making an oral or written inquiry into an applicants past salary history.  We have all filled out a job application and found the space where are supposed to put the salary of each former job.  There is nothing comfortable about this.  In some cases, prospective employees do not want to put the info down because they are worried their prospective will know they are willing to work for less than they are worth.  Now employer’s cannot ask about past salary history.  This is a requirement under the Parity in Pay Ordinance.

If you are concerned your rights may have been violated on these fronts, our best employment law attorneys can help.

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

Additional Resources:

New Laws Prohibit Employers from Inquiring into Applicants’ Criminal Convictions and Salary Histories, October 2017, By Allison Shrallow, Melissa K. Bell, and Baldwin Lee, The National Law Review

More Blog Entries:

Company Culture Causes Sexual Harassment in California, July 28, 2017 by Employment Lawyer Blog