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Legislation proposed to ‘ban the box’ statewide in Calif.

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

A.B. 1008, a bill currently before the California legislature, would bar employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history before making a conditional job offer.

The legislation mirrors ordinances recently enacted in several states and 12 cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The bill would also restrict when employers could conduct background checks. Only misdemeanor convictions in the last three years and felony convictions in the last seven years could be considered when making hiring decisions.

Under the terms of the bill, an employer would be required to provide a reason for failing to hire an applicant with a criminal history. The applicant would then have 10 days to respond to the employer’s reason and possibly rebut it.

Generally, “ban the box” laws like this one require employers to consider the relevance of the offense to the job and the amount of time that has passed since the conviction.

The law is not yet in final form and may change before being voted upon and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.

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