California Ban the Box Exceptions

California’s Ban the Box law protects people with conviction histories attempting to gain employment. Now, employers may not consider or ask about an applicant’s conviction history until after extending a conditional employment offer.  When an applicant has a prior conviction, the employer must adhere to strict notice and disclosure requirements, including informing the applicant of rejection due to their conviction history and performing an individualized assessment to ensure the rejection is genuinely justified.  California’s Ban the Box law seeks to give people with conviction histories a foot in the door.  However, not every employer is covered by California’s Ban the Box law.  Below are categories of employers exempt from California’s Ban the Box Law.

 

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1. California’s Ban the Box Law Does Not Apply to Employers with Fewer Than 5 Employees.

California’s Ban the Box Law applies to employers with five or more employees.  California Government Code § 12952(a).  If the employer does not employ at least five people, California’s Ban the Box Law does not apply.

2. Positions Requiring A Mandatory Conviction History Background Check Are Exempt from California’s Ban the Box Law.

Employers are required by law to conduct conviction history background checks when hiring for certain positions.  These positions are exempt from California’s Ban the Box law.  California Government Code § 12952(d)(1).

3. Positions in Criminal Justice Agencies are Exempt from California’s Ban the Box Law.

Criminal Justice Agency employers are not covered by California’s Ban the Box law.  California Government Code § 12952(d)(2).  As defined by California Penal Code section 13101, these employers are government agencies that apprehend, prosecute, or incarcerate criminal offenders or collect, store, disseminate, or use criminal offender record information.  California Penal Code § 13101.  Exempt employers include police departments, district attorney offices, and county jails.

4. Farm Labor Contractors Do Not Have California Ban the Box Rights.

Farm Labor Contractors need not comply with California Ban the Box.  California Government Code § 12952(d)(3).  Given the seasonal nature of farming, farm labor contractors assist farms with their varied staffing needs throughout the year.  Typically, farm labor contractors recruit and advertise for farming positions so they can fill a position at any notice.  Unfortunately, they are exempt from California’s Ban the Box law.

5. Positions Requiring Criminal Background Checks or Restrictions on Employment Based on Criminal History.

If the positions require the employer to perform a criminal background check or to restrict employment based on criminal history, the employer need not comply with California’s Ban the Box law. California Government Code § 12952(d)(4).

If none of these exemptions apply, the employer must comply with California’s Ban the Box law.  This means the employer cannot consider the applicant’s conviction history until after extending a conditional employment offer.  To learn how California’s Ban the Box law works, click here.

Astanehe Law Knows Employee Rights.

If the employer unreasonably decides to disqualify the applicant from the position, the applicant should reconsider filing a complaint with the state or taking legal action. Employers who fail to follow the aforementioned procedure cannot revoke a job offer or terminate their employee. If your employer or prospective employer has denied your Ban the Box law rights, contact Astanehe Law immediately for your consultation. You have rights, and Astanehe Law may be able to assist you. Call us at (415) 226-7170 or email us at contact@astanehelaw.com. Astanehe Law Knows Employee Rights.


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