If you are applying for a job in 2018, or planning to hire employees in the New Year, you may want to read up on two California laws that, as of January 1, 2018, will apply to the job application process.
An Applicant’s Criminal History
The first law, Assembly Bill 1008, also known as “ban the box” legislation, prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history. The law adds language to the Government Code and repeals a section of the Labor Code. Under AB 1008, an employer may not include questions on any job application that would require an applicant to disclose his criminal history. Employers cannot consider an applicant’s conviction history or share the conviction history as part of a background check. Once an applicant has received a conditional offer of employment, the employer may ask about, and consider, conviction history. Some employers may ask applicants to fill out applications after extending a conditional offer of employment. Such applications may inquire about conviction history.
The law further provides that if an employer decides to deny employment to a person with a criminal conviction, the employer must perform certain actions. First, the employer must make an “individualized assessment” to determine if the applicant’s criminal history has a “direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job.” This means the employer must consider the type of offense, how long ago it occurred, and the nature of the job the applicant seeks. Then, if the employer denies employment, the applicant must be given the reasons in writing, and the applicant must have an opportunity to challenge the decision. If an applicant challenges an employer’s decision, the employer must consider any information the applicant submits with the challenge. The employer must then provide written “final notice” of the decision. This law may result in additional lawsuits by job applicants.
An Employee’s Salary History
The second law, Assembly Bill 168, adds a section to the California Labor Code regarding salary information. The law prohibits both public and private employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history, such as the compensation and benefits the applicant received at his or her last job. An employer may not rely on past salary information in deciding whether to offer a job or what salary to offer an applicant. An applicant may voluntarily disclose the salary she was paid in previous jobs, however. Finally, the bill requires employers to provide pay scale information for positions upon the applicant’s reasonable request. A violation of this law is a misdemeanor.
For more information about these two new laws, as well as other changes in California employment law to look out for in 2018, contact experienced employment lawyer Drew E. Pomerance today.