State and Local Governments Prohibited From Asking Applicants About Their Criminal Convictions

Checking a box about criminal convictions can no longer be a part of the application process for local governments.  Effective on July 1, 2014, state and local government agencies will be prohibited from asking job applicants to disclose their criminal conviction history prior to determining that the applicant is minimally qualified for the job. 

Currently, only the state and some counties prohibit asking applicants about their criminal history.  Under AB 218, which was signed into law by Governor Brown last week, the prohibition will be extended to all local governments, including charter cities and counties.

The law has some exceptions, however.  The prohibition will not apply to applicants for positions where a conviction history background check is required by law.  The government is required to perform a conviction history background check for law enforcement positions, for example.

For more information on this new law, and its exceptions, please contact your labor law counsel.

By Jake White | October 15, 2013

Legal Developments