New Laws Regarding Pre-Employment Inquiries and Hiring in California

New Laws Regarding Pre-Employment Inquiries and Hiring in California

By Robert L. Rediger, Esq.

Assembly Bill 1008 prohibits public and private employers with five or more employees from making any pre-employment inquiries, including in any employment application, that would disclose an applicant’s criminal history. Only after an employer makes a conditional offer of employment to the applicant may it make such inquiries. Note that the new law also prohibits employers from “considering” the conviction history of the applicant until after a conditional offer of employment has been made, so employers may not use background checks to expose an applicant’s criminal conviction history before an offer of employment is made. And if the employer decides to withdraw its offer, it must first make an “individualized assessment” regarding such, and follow the steps and requirements established by the new law, sometimes referred to as a “fair chance” process. (Such processes are already in effect in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a result of their “ban the box” ordinances.) AB 1008 becomes effective on January 1, 2018.

Assembly Bill 168 prohibits an employer from seeking salary history information from an applicant for employment and from considering such as a factor in determining whether to offer employment, or what salary to offer him or her. The applicant may, however, disclose his or her salary history information voluntarily and without prompting by the employer, in which case the employer may then consider such information. Finally, the new law requires an employer, on reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment.