California’s New Employment Law Bans Criminal History

Under a new law which took effect July 1, 2017, California employers are no longer be allowed to consider an applicant’s criminal history when making employment decisions if doing so will have an adverse impact on applicant in a legally protected class (race, national origin, or gender) as defined by the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  The new regulations limit an employer’s ability to inquire into prior arrests of an applicant which did not result in a criminal conviction. The new law applies to employers with five or more employees. An employer can consider criminal history when hiring an applicant if they can establish the practice is job related and consistent with business necessity.