California’s new “Ban the Box” Law: 5 Action Items for Employers
California’s new ban the box law (Assembly Bill 1008) goes into effect January 1, 2018. The law contains new statewide restrictions on an employer’s ability to make both pre-hire and personnel decisions based on an individual’s criminal history.
This new law extends to private employers with five or more employees. Employers should consider the following action items to ensure their compliance with the new law:
- 1. Review job applications and interview questions to remove questions about conviction history. Employers cannot inquire into conviction history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made to an applicant.
- 2. Review hiring policies — Review background check evaluation policies and procedures to ensure prohibited offenses are not considered and any disqualifying offenses are adequately job-related.
- 3. Update notices — Update pre-adverse action notice templates and procedures. Employers must provide written notice of the specific disqualifying conviction(s), a copy of the background check report itself, and an explanation that the applicant has at least five (5) business days to respond to either challenge the accuracy of the conviction record, or to provide additional information to be considered (e.g. evidence of rehabilitation and/or mitigating circumstances).
- 4. Review hiring timelines — Implement procedures and practices that provide applicants with additional time to respond to pending adverse actions and the ability to submit additional information. Applicants have the right to respond to pre-adverse action notices within five business days and an employer may not take any action during this period. If the applicant disputes the conviction history, an employer must provide an additional five business days to the applicant.
- 5. Consider all submitted information — Most importantly, consider any additional information submitted by the applicant before making any final decisions.
While some of these changes may require reviewing your internal policies and procedures, Checkr’s hosted applicant flow is ready to support your compliance. Checkr’s adverse action tools support customizeable copy and timelines as well as individualized assessment input. Your local compliance is further bolstered with adverse action floors to ensure the state and city legal requirements are met.
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