New California Law Prohibiting Employers from Asking about Juvenile Criminal Records Takes Effect January 1

 CalifonriaStateShapeFlag_Small

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A new law – Assembly Bill (A.B.) No. 1843 – will take effect January 1, 2017, and amend Section 432.7 of the California Labor Code to prohibit employers from considering certain juvenile records for employment purposes or asking a job applicant to disclose information concerning certain juvenile records occurring while that person was subject to juvenile court law.

AB 1843 amends the California Labor Code to broaden what data employers may not consider by including “information concerning or related to an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while the person was subject to the process and jurisdiction of juvenile court law.”

The law will exclude from the definition of “conviction” in the California Labor Code “an adjudication by a juvenile court or any other court order or action taken with respect to a person who is under the process and jurisdiction of a juvenile court, and would make related and conforming changes.” The full text of A.B. 1843 is available here.

The current California Labor Code prohibits private and public sector employers from asking a job applicant to disclose information on an arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction, a referral to or participation in any pretrial or post-trial diversion program, and a conviction that has been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed.

The law will prohibit health facility employers in California from inquiring into events occurring while applicants were subject to juvenile court law or an applicant’s juvenile offense history sealed by juvenile court. Health facility employers seeking disclosure of a juvenile offense history under an exception must give the applicant a list describing the offenses being sought.

As reported earlier by ESR News, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1843 into law in September of 2016. Intentional violations of the law shall entitle an applicant to actual damages or five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is greater, plus costs. An intentional violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).

“It is difficult to see how the new California law will impact what screening firms currently do,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR). “Juvenile records are not a public record that is available to court researchers, meaning that a screening firm is unable to ever obtain, much less report, such information.”

Rosen, author of The Safe Hiring Manual, adds: “In California, juvenile matters are specifically non-criminal unless there is a court proceeding and it is determined that the juvenile will be tried as an adult, but that only happens generally with very serious cases. The main impact may be on employers who somehow come across such information themselves or who try to ask about juvenile matters.”

Background Checks are Different in California

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm headquartered in the San Francisco, CA-area – knows that background checks are performed differently in California than in the other 49 states. To read more ESR News blogs about background checks in California, please visit www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/california/.

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.

© 2016 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.