On September 27, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1843, which prohibits certain inquiries into the criminal past of applicants for employment. The new law now adds a prohibition against asking about, considering as part of the hiring process, or attempting to discover, information relating to any “arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition” that occurred while the applicant was subject to the “process and jurisdiction” of the juvenile court.

The new law contains a carve out for healthcare facilities seeking to employ applicants who will have regular access to patients and/or drugs and medication. For these applicants, the healthcare facility may seek disclosure of their relevant history, but first must furnish a list describing the particular types of offenses that must be disclosed. Healthcare facilities also must be cautious that they limit the scope of their juvenile criminal inquiries to information related only to unsealed felony and misdemeanor offenses that occurred within the preceding five years.

This law will apply to all public and private employers, except as noted above. This law will become effective January 1, 2017.

Employers should review their employment applications and hiring process to ensure compliance with this new law.