Just six months after California modified its regulations concerning past criminal convictions for applicants, California has taken the additional step of modifying the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to expressly prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history prior to a conditional offer of employment, and strictly limiting an employer’s use of an applicant’s criminal history following a conditional offer.
Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that was not dismissed, expunged, or sealed? New York City employers, if you ask that question on your employment application or some version of that question, then remove it. If you search the internet or other databases to learn about your applicants’ criminal history, then stop it. Or at least do so by the fall when the Fair Chance Act, New York City’s “ban the box” law, which Mayor de Blasio is expected to sign, goes into effect. New York City now joins a growing list of jurisdictions to ban criminal conviction inquiries during the screening process. The key difference here is that unlike most jurisdictions, New York City extends its prohibitions to private employers. We briefly summarize the law below.