Lawsuit Claims LA Unified School District Rejected Job Seekers with Expunged Criminal Records

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A lawsuit filed against the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) by members of a civil rights group claims job seekers with expunged misdemeanor records were illegally rejected for positions within the LAUSD, according to a story on the Courthouse News Service (CNS) website.

CNS reports two members of  ‘All Of Us or None’ – which was founded in 2003 to promote the civil rights of people who have been convicted of a crime – sued the “LAUSD, its Superintendent Michelle King, and the top officials in its Personnel Commission and Human Resources Division.”

Both plaintiffs claim they were “rejected for positions at LAUSD based on misdemeanor convictions that have since been expunged or otherwise dismissed,” although California Labor Code states employers may not consider convictions judicially dismissed or ordered sealed when hiring workers, CNS reports.

Plaintiff “Jane Roe” had a conviction for credit card fraud in 2006 when she was 19 that was reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed in 2011, CNS reports. Plaintiff “John Doe” was convicted of multiple misdemeanors between 1986 and 2004 that were expunged in 2013.

CNS reports “Jane Roe” and “John Doe” applied for LAUSD jobs, were fingerprinted for criminal background checks, and later informed they were ineligible to work based on their background check results. Although not provided copies of their background checks, both believe their expunged records were disclosed.

CNS reports that both plaintiffs “seek to clarify the scope of protection the state offers people who have expunged their records and are looking for employment.” The complete story from CNS is available at http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/08/17/l-a-schools-deny-job-seekers-second-chance.htm.

In May 2015, ESR News reported that expunged criminal records of applicants removed from databases can still appear in some background checks performed by private screening firms. However, a background check expert says these expunged records should not appear if data is verified at the primary source.

Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), says screening firms should verify any potentially negative information at the primary source to protect consumers from reporting matters that should not be reportable during background checks, including expunged records.

“Issues with expunged records are created only where background screening firms are selling database information directly to the end user and do not go to the courthouse to verify the current status of a matter at the primary sources,” says Rosen, the author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’

“Professional screening firms should never report a criminal matter from a database search without first verifying the underlying facts from current court records,” Rosen explains. “ESR has long advocated for laws requiring all criminal matters to be verified first at the courthouse, which is the California state rule.”

Expunged Records Just One Way To Help Ex-Offenders Return to Workforce

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Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers a complimentary whitepaper – Ten Critical Steps for Ex-Offenders to Get Back into the Workforce – written by founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen that provides insights and suggestions to help job applicants with criminal records get back into the workforce.

The whitepaper from ESR – which offers tips to help ex-offenders return to the workforce beginning with exploring the eligibility for getting a conviction sealed, expunged, or judicially set aside – is available at www.esrcheck.com/Whitepapers/Ten-Steps-for-Ex-Offenders-to-Get-Back-in-Workforce/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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