In the past, a California employer could freely inquire about and consider a job applicant’s history of criminal convictions in determining any condition of employment including hiring, promotion, or termination. Although California law prohibited employers from asking about or considering arrests or detentions that did not result in convictions, the law did not impose any restrictions regarding what types of convictions employers could ask about or consider.

That has now changed. On September 27, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1843, which removes juvenile convictions from the scope of convictions that employers are permitted to ask about or consider. Specifically, the newly signed bill defines “conviction” to exclude an adjudication (i.e. conviction) by a juvenile court. It prohibits an employer from asking a job applicant to disclose information (or seeking information from any source) regarding a juvenile court’s adjudication. The new law also prohibits an employer from considering an adjudication or court disposition by a juvenile court as a factor in determining any condition of employment.

This bill will be codified as Section 432.7 (a) (2) and (3) of the California Labor Code.

Employers should immediately review their employment applications and other employment-related documents to determine whether they should be revised in light of this important new law.