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Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1843 into law. The bill, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, amends the California Labor Code to make it illegal for employers to use certain juvenile records in hiring decisions. But what does the new law entail, and how will it impact California employees?

California AB 1843: What Employees Need to Know

How California AB 1843 Protects Employees

Starting on January 1, 2017, California employers will be prohibited by law from asking job applicants to disclose information about any juvenile convictions they may have. This includes utilizing juvenile criminal records related to arrests, detentions or court dispositions.

However, some exceptions apply. AB 1843 specifies that a California employer at a health facility may inquire about an applicant’s juvenile crimes if a juvenile court had made a final ruling or adjudication that the crime committed was a felony or misdemeanor involving sex crimes or some controlled substance crimes within five years prior to applying for the job. Even so, the law still makes it illegal for employers to inquire into any job applicant’s sealed juvenile records.

California AB 1843 Amends Labor Code Section 432.7

California Labor Code Section 432.7 currently makes it unlawful for employers in both the public and private sectors to consider the following when making hiring decisions:

  • arrests or detentions that didn’t result in convictions;
  • referrals to or participation in, pretrial or post-trial diversion programs; convictions that have been dismissed or ordered sealed.

California AB 1843 will amend this section of the Labor Code to broaden “off limits” information. This goes for asking job applicants to disclose information, as well as employees. Specifically, under the new law an employer may not:

  • ask applicants or employees to disclose information about “an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition” that occurred while the individual was subject to the process and jurisdiction of juvenile court law; or
  • seek from any source or utilize as a factor in determining any condition of employment any record concerning or related to an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while a person was subject to the process and jurisdiction of juvenile court law.

California Assembly Bill 1843: Additional Information

  • California AB 1843: Bill Text
  • California Amends Labor Code to Prohibit Employers from Using Juvenile Records in Employment Decisions via Littler.com
  • California to Prohibit Employers from Considering Juvenile Records for Employment Purposes via ESRCheck.com
  • California Labor Code Section 430-435

If your employer has used background checks to screen you or other applicants, you should know that California background checks aren’t the same as those in other states. If your employer isn’t complying with California’s expanded rules for background checks, and has fired you or denied employment to you and others based on past juvenile criminal history, it could be violating California workplace discrimination laws. Contact the experienced Los Angeles employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz today for a free consultation.