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How Does Having a Criminal History Impact Your Job Prospects in California?

March 31, 2019

California has “banned the box,” but some convictions may prohibit you from working in certain fields.

How Does Having a Criminal History Impact Your Job Prospects in California?

California has enacted a range of sweeping criminal justice reforms that have helped to make this state a better place for anyone who has ever been accused or convicted of a crime. One of these laws, the Pardon and Commutation Reform Act, will help to make it easier for people with criminal histories to get jobs after they have served their time.

One of the most significant consequences that anyone faces after becoming involved in the criminal justice system is the inability to move forward with their life after a conviction. For years, Californians with a criminal history have struggled to get back on their feet after serving their time and paying their debt to society. A new law, signed by Governor Brown in September 2018, hopes to change that reality.

Under the Pardon and Commutation Reform Act of 2018, also known as Assembly Bill 2845, employers with 5 or more employees are prohibited from questioning potential employees about a possible conviction history. This is often referred to as “banning the box,” as there will no longer be a “box” to check on most job applications to indicate whether you have a criminal history.

In addition, the law makes it illegal to ask about or consider a job applicant’s conviction history until after an employment offer has been made. Employers are prohibited from considering any arrests that are not followed by convictions, participation in pre or post-trial diversion programs, convictions that have been sealed, dismissed or expunged, or convictions where a person has been given a pardon or issued a certificate of rehabilitation.

However, there are exceptions to this law. Employers can consider an applicant’s past convictions for positions where a state or local agency is legally required to conduct a criminal background check; positions with criminal justice agencies; positions as farm labor contractors; and positions where employers are legally required to conduct criminal background checks.

The Pardon and Commutation Reform Act of 2018 does help people with criminal histories become more integrated into their communities, and allows them to find jobs. However, having a criminal background can still be a barrier to employment in California. For this reason, having a skilled criminal attorney Riverside, CA to defend you against criminal charges is critical to protect your future.

If you have already been convicted of a crime, a Certificate of Rehabilitation may allow you to get your life back on track. Consult with an experienced criminal attorney Riverside, CA to determine if you are eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, and to help you proceed with next steps.

At the Chambers Law Firm, we represent clients at all stages of the criminal justice process. We understand that the consequences of a conviction don’t just end with the sentence, but can be lifelong. That is why we work hard to protect your rights and your freedom. Contact our office today at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation with a seasoned criminal attorney Riverside, CA.

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