Two new state laws take effect on January 1, 2018 that will significantly affect employer hiring practices in California.
Under the Fair Chance Act (AB 1008), California’s new “Ban the Box” law, employers with at least five employees will no longer be permitted to consider the criminal history of a job applicant until a conditional job offer is made. There are limited exceptions to this prohibition: the law does not apply to certain positions at health care facilities, farm labor contractors, or positions with state criminal justice agencies; it also does not apply to any position where an employer is required by another law to conduct background checks or restrict employment based on criminal history. Once a conditional offer is made, the employer may conduct a background check for criminal history but must perform an individualized assessment of any conviction history found. If the employer decides to rescind the job offer based on an applicant’s criminal history, it must satisfy certain procedural and notice requirements, including requirements that it inform the applicant in writing, provide a copy of any conviction history report relied upon, and give the applicant at least five business days to respond.
As previously mentioned on this blog, AB 168 amends the Equal Pay Act (Labor Code section 432.3) so that it now prohibits employers, with one exception, from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history, while also requiring employers to disclose the relevant pay scale for an open position upon the applicant’s reasonable request.
Employers should carefully review their hiring practices and make the necessary changes to their recruitment and hiring process in order to comply with the new laws.