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California Employers Should Reevaluate Their Criminal Background Check Policies Before July 1, 2017


The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) finalized new regulations limiting the ability of employers to consider criminal history when making employment decisions. The regulations become effective on July 1, 2017. Employers should reexamine their policies and practices of using criminal histories in employment decisions before the regulations take effect. The new regulations are focused on limiting potential “adverse impact” on protected groups by employer’s overly broad use of criminal histories in making employment decisions.

The final regulations prohibit employers from using criminal records and information in any employment decisions if:

  1. Such use would have an adverse impact on individuals in a legally protected class designated by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), or

  2. The applicant or employee is able to demonstrate an effective and less discriminatory way of achieving the specific business necessity. FULL ARTICLE