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Employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin was outlawed in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the EEOC enforces law for these “protected classes.” On July 1, 2017, the California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) established a regulation that broadens the scope of current state law: Californian employers are banned from using criminal convictions for employment denial to individuals within “protected classes.” The regulation suggests diligent review of reported convictions and comparison of conviction nature with job duties.

  • If a Californian employer decides against extending an offer based on the applicant’s criminal history, the employer must issue a pre-adverse notice to the applicant. Current FCRA pre-adverse notice guidelines still apply, but the new regulation expands the requirements to afford the applicant with opportunities and protection.
  • The applicant may provide documentation to prove the record is erroneous or declare the use of the record as employment discrimination towards “protected classes.”
  • The employer then may prove the necessary use of the background check because the charges have a direct impact on the applicant’s ability to do the job. If not, they may modify procedures.