Governor Brown has recently signed a “ban the box” employment bill into law. AB 1008 further restricts California employers’ abilities to use criminal records when making an employment decision. This not only affects your employment process and job application, but this amendment also affects your denial process (if based on the applicant’s criminal history).
From California to Indiana, new employment legislation has passed and is pending. Within the past few months San Francisco has enacted a ban on asking a job applicant what their salary history is, while it is likely that the state of Oregon will soon be reducing the penalties for the possession of drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth. Ultimately, you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled on these new employment laws.
From enforcing “Ban the Box” regulations on Los Angeles employers to potentially prohibiting Texan counties and cities from enacting “Ban the Box” legislation, passed and proposed legislation has, for the most part, favored the movement. While the federal Fair Chance Act has been halted since it was proposed in 2015, many states, cities, and counties have enacted their own “Ban the Box” legislation this year.
Your rental application is the first step to safeguarding your community. Alongside background screening, it’s one of the few things that helps you evaluate if an applicant should live amongst your other residents. While it certainly can’t tell you a particular resident-to-be’s future, as long as you cover 5 key areas in your rental application, you can at least get a hint as to what type of renter they might become.
Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers Unveil Legislation Aimed at Federal Contractors
“Ban the box” legislation has been introduced for the first time at the federal level, reflecting a broader trend witnessed in dozens of states and municipalities. On September 10, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers in both houses of Congress introduced the Fair Chance Act (S. 2021 / H.R. 3470), which would prohibit federal agencies or contractors from asking prospective employees about whether they have a criminal record before a formal job offer has been extended. Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, an employer would be permitted to ask about the applicant’s criminal record and revoke the offer based on the results of a criminal background check.
All across the U.S. there are civil rights activists fighting for employees who are being discriminated against during the hiring process. There are arguments about the use of criminal records and credit history before an applicant has been interviewed, and how much of an impact the information should have on the decision for employment. Some states have already approved new legislation limiting what employers may ask or research before hiring a new employee, while others are in the review process.
In order to protect your business, be sure to keep up with changes your state might be making that will require a change to your employment policy.
There are a number of basic rights that every U.S. citizen is entitled to when they are seeking employment. These include protection from being denied employment based on race, color, religion, gender, and national origin. In addition to these there are gray areas such as age, familial status and sexual orientation which will likely be added with Federal protection at some point in time. What is clearly absent from these lists is language that protects citizens with criminal records from being denied employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) seeks to change this.