Starting Jan. 1, people with felony convictions across California will have a chance to do that. That’s when new “ban the box” legislation goes into effect, expanding an older state law that covered only public agencies to every business with five or more employees.
At issue is that one little box on an employment application — the one that requires the applicant to check “yes” if she or he has a criminal history. Knowing they are likely to be screened out, job-seekers who would have to check the box had to decide whether to lie or hope for the best
"We need to remove the barriers to their success," said Marcia Parsons, the chief probation officer for Monterey County. "Once they are convicted of a felony, it's very difficult for them to find employment. Fortunately, there are local employers who will take a chance on them."
Assembly Bill 1008, now part of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, does not prevent an employer from conducting background checks. But it requires that a conditional offer be made first.
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