Call For a Free Case Evaluation 800.370.7102
When Life Takes a Turn, Turn to Diefer Your Side Deserves to Be Heard

New California Law Provides Second Chance for Applicants with Criminal Records

In the past several weeks, California has passed a series of new bills to change and expand the state's employment laws. Among these, one particular measure recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown requires state and local governments to forgo asking job applicants if they have been convicted of a crime before determining if they are qualified for the job.

A victory for civil-rights and advocacy groups, the new bill was designed to address the growing trend in California and throughout the nation of more people having criminal records. Statistically, one in four adults in California have an arrest or conviction record. Criminal history has a historically negative impact on individuals' abilities to find employment – a trend that has been exacerbated as the economy struggles to right itself and reduce unemployment rates.

Under the new bill, government employers are required to first determine if applicants are qualified for the position. It does not prevent employers or agencies from asking about criminal convictions or conducting background checks after, however. Similar laws have been passed in others states. New Jersey is currently considering a measure that would prohibit all employers – not just the government – from asking questions about criminal convictions on job applications.

These measures are huge steps for the millions of Americans who have criminal records. As many advocates attest, it gives them a fighting chance to prove their worth and their qualifications before being "judged" in relation to their past. It may not eliminate the prospects that criminal records play into the selection process, but it does provide a strong, fair chance for proving one's abilities in the workplace.

If you would like more information about the new California employment laws, procedures governing the hiring process, or your personal case, contact an Orange County employment lawyer from Diefer Law Group, PC by calling (949) 945-0171 or filling out a free case evaluation form.