In an attempt to cut down on employment discrimination against felons and reduce recidivism rates, a bill waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D-CA) signature would remove a question on local and state job applications asking applicants about their criminal record.
Checking that box on a job application can often automatically disqualify an applicant who has served time in prison, making it nearly impossible for ex-convicts to find legitimate work. California already removed the questions regarding felony and domestic abuse convictions from most public job applications, putting them instead on a supplemental form to be used when relevant to the position. Employers can still ask about criminal backgrounds, but will not see that information up front. On September 12, the state Senate expanded this policy into law and extended it to more than 6,000 local and regional government agencies. Full Article
This is a much needed change! As one who is currently struggling to find work, I’m really hoping this goes into effect. As it stands, convictions are only supposed to be used as criteria for hiring if they are relevant to the job description, this is not the practice though and checking that box on the application pretty much guarantees you will never hear from that employer.
UPDATE: Oct. 10, 2013
Jerry Brown signs bill to ban felony question on public job apps
Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/the_state_worker/2013/10/jerry-brown-signs-bill-to-ban-felony-question-on-public-job-apps.html#storylink=cpy
Effective July 1, 2014. I wish they could push this on the private sector too.