Governor Brown has signed AB 218. This new law prohibits the State and local employers from asking job applicants about criminal conviction history until after the agency has determined that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the job. There is an exception for any position where a criminal background investigation is required by law. The law also does not prohibit asking about criminal convictions after the agency determines that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the job. The new law takes effective July 1, 2014.
It is very common for public sector job applications to contain a question asking an applicant if he or she has ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Under AB 218, this question will have to be eliminated from most job applications. However, the State and local agencies can require an applicant to submit a supplemental application disclosing any convictions after it is determined that he or she meets the minimum qualifications of the job.