A new law in California affects the way past criminal (including felons) records can be used by employers during background screening. The law took effect in January 1, 2014 and protects ex-offenders such as felons, among others, when it comes to job hunting. It dictates what legally the employers can discover and use during the job processing.
It prohibits employers from asking about or even seeking information about criminal conviction which have been committed by the people looking for employment. Employers breaking the law by seeking the information risk civil penalties and misdemeanor criminal charges. The law also allows the convicted person to get the case expunged sooner.
The new law seeks to amend California labor code hence prohibiting employers from asking for disclosure. It prohibits the employers from using the criminal records to determine employment of people. It also protects citizens from arrest which did not result in conviction from being applied against someone to block him in seeking employment.
It does not even require use of a pending case to determine eligibility of a job opportunity.
Conviction which has been expunged will no longer be used to determine eligibility of a person to get employed in California.
The law covers both employers in the private sector as well as the public sector from using the information to block people from accessing employment opportunities. If the case has been ordered dismissed or sealed by the court, it is not supposed to be used as a basis to deny an applicant employment in the state of California according to the law.
Employer Access To Records
There are several exemptions where the employer can access the criminal records. They include cases where the employer will access firearms in his line of duty. If the applicant has been convicted of a crime which prohibits him from holding a given position, then the employer can ask for the criminal records and deny the person employment basing on the prohibition put against him due to the criminal conviction.
There are several limitations to obtaining expungement. They include state prison sentence, violation of sex crimes among other offenses as stipulated in the law. If you fall under such a category, then it will be hard for you to access the benefits of no disclosure as per the new law in California.
The law expands and clarifies the penal code sections 1003.4 where expungement is allowed under California law. The law clarifies that if the person is granted expungement, he is cleared of all damages which can result from the case.