Less than 75 days until the new year! 2018 will be here quickly along with new legislation that directly impacts our daily employment processes. One key piece of legislation that will impact the hiring processes for many HR professionals is the passage of California AB 1008 on October 14, 2017. This legislation is also called the California Fair Chance Act but is also known commonly as California Ban the Box legislation.
Ban the Box legislation is full speed ahead here in the United States. Ten states total (Illinois, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, Vermont, Oregon, Connecticut and now California) have passed state legislation prohibiting public and private sector employers from asking about convictions or including conviction related questions on job applications. With the exception of Hawaii and Massachusetts, the other eight states have passed their versions of Ban the Box legislation within the past four years. This reiterates the powerful momentum of the Ban the Box movement domestically, and it is anticipated that other states will join the ranks in the next few years.
California Ban the Box
California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed the legislation on October 14, 2017; however, this legislation does not become effective until January 1, 2018. The time delay will be implemented so that employers will have adequate time to adjust employment processes to comply with this law. The bill, AB 1008, prohibits employers from asking criminal conviction related questions initially on a job application. Employers are still allowed to ask questions about convictions later in the hiring process. Certain exemptions exist about this law so please consult your company’s legal team for more information on the exemptions and criteria to qualify.
To keep abreast of states and cities who enact “Ban the Box” legislation, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) updates regularly on pending and passed Ban the Box legislation. For the actual legislation, you will need to go directly to the state or city government website to access the passed law(s) in its comprehensive language. Employers need to be aware of the legislation that exists and what legislation is pending to be prepared for the potential impact on their organizations. If your organization currently has hiring practices in multiple states and cities, or posts job listings nationally, it is important to be cognizant of the locales’ legal expectations and determine if you need to alter verbiage on your employment application(s) and/or change specific steps in your hiring practices to be compliant with “Ban the Box” legislation.
At ExactHire, we take pride in doing our best to ensure our clients’ satisfaction is the highest possible. We do whatever we can to resolve clients’ current needs and identify potential needs. After you speak with your legal counsel, and if you and your legal team decide changes need to be made to your employment application(s) to comply with legislation, the ExactHire team can work with you to create a new application with the verbiage you specify for compliance. Also, please know that one of the benefits of using ExactHire’s HireCentric software as your applicant tracking system is that you can create multiple employment applications, each specific to your needs. If you are an existing client looking for more information about updating your current employment application(s) and/or creating additional employment applications, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know your needs.
Please note: The ExactHire team is not legal counsel, and we do not offer legal advice, so any questions regarding your company’s eligibility for exemption with the “Ban the Box” legislation and/or proper verbiage for your company’s employment application(s) should be discussed with your company’s legal counsel. To learn specifically how California’s AB 1008 affects your organization’s hiring practices, please contact your company’s legal team.