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California Joins the Ban-the-Box Bandwagon


California’s new Ban the Box regulation became effective last week. Effective July 1, 2017, questions concerning an applicant or employee’s criminal convictions will now be subject to the new regulation. That regulation raises the bar employers must clear in order to pose criminal conviction-related questions to applicants and employees. And it raises it significantly. We discuss the new regulation below.

While California already prohibited inquiries into prior arrests or detentions that did not result in a criminal conviction (or if the conviction was sealed, expunged or eradicated), the new regulation, which is applicable to employers with 5 or more California employees, prohibits employers from inquiring about past convictions if:

  1. that inquiry has an “adverse impact” on individuals on a basis protected by California’s anti-discrimination law (e.g., gender, race, and national origin), and

  2. the employer cannot prove the inquiry is job-related and consistent with business necessity, or alternatively, if the employer can show business necessity, the employee or applicant can demonstrate a less discriminatory alternative means of achieving the specific business necessity as effectively. FULL ARTICLE

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