On October 14th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1008 which prohibits most public and private employers with five or more employees from asking applicants about criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
The bill requires employers that run background checks to assess each person’s circumstances individually and examine the nature of the crime, the relationship to the job, amount of time that has passed since the offense, and evidence of rehabilitation. The bill also requires that employers notify applicants about any criminal history in their consumer reports and give the applicant a chance to correct any errors, provide evidence of expungement or present mitigating information.
The Fair Chance bill removes job barriers for applicants in California with criminal histories and gives them a fighting chance at securing employment without their past being used against them.
How can employers remain Ban the Box compliant?
Ban the Box continues to be one of the more complicated issues in employment law as more and more states and municipalities enact laws restricting when an employer can consider criminal conviction history in the hiring process. So far, 29 states and over 150 cities and counties have enacted some type of Fair Chance or Ban the Box law. Some apply only to government sector employers and others include private sector employers. California is the 10th state to ban the box for private employers.
Employers face enough challenges including the compliance stew being created by the myriad ban the box laws. So how does a company ensure compliance? Here are a few suggestions:
- Adjust your hiring process so that background screening is conducted after a conditional offer is made to the applicant.
- Train recruiters and hiring managers to reinforce how to conduct a complete assessment of the individual candidate to make appropriate hiring decisions.
- Define a background relevancy matrix by position.
- Partner with a background screening company that has these rules built into their platform, the expertise to recognize these laws as they are passed and the flexibility to react quickly in implementing any new rules or forms for employers.
To learn how Cisive keeps your company in compliance and out of harm’s way, contact a Cisive Specialist at 1-866-557-5984 or click here.