California Restricts Employers from Using Juvenile Records for Employment Decisions

On September 26, 2016, the state of California passed Assembly Bill 1843 that amended the Labor Code by prohibiting employers from asking an applicant for employment to disclose certain juvenile records. The amended Labor Code has been effective since January 1, 2017.

The amended Section 432.7 (2) of the Labor Code states:

  • No employer, whether a public agency or private individual or corporation, shall ask an applicant for employment to disclose, through any written form or verbally, information concerning or related to an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while the person was subject to the process and jurisdiction of juvenile court law, nor shall any employer seek from any source whatsoever, or utilize, as a factor in determining any condition of employment including hiring, promotion, termination, or any apprenticeship training program or any other training program leading to employment, any record concerning or related to an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while a person was subject to the process and jurisdiction of juvenile court law.

The bill’s definition of “conviction” excludes “any adjudication by a juvenile court or any other court order or action taken with respect to a person who is under the process of the juvenile court law.”

Employers from a “Health facility” as defined in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code  are precluded from inquiring into an applicant’s juvenile offense history unless the information concerns an adjudication by a juvenile court in which the applicant was found to have committed a felony or a misdemeanor offense  under Section 290 of the Penal Code (sexual assault offenses) or Section 11590 of the Health and Safety Code (controlled substance offenses) in the five years before the application for employment. In addition, health facility employers must not inquire from the applicant information concerning or related to their juvenile offense history that was sealed by the juvenile court. 

A health facility employer who seeks disclosure of acceptable offense history must provide the applicant with a list describing the specific offenses under Section 11590 of the Health and Safety Code or Section 290 of the Penal Code for which disclosure is sought.

The amended Labor Code is accessible here for review:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1843

What This Means to You:

  • The amended Labor Code prohibits an employer from inquiring or considering information concerning the applicant’s arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while the applicant was subject to the process and jurisdiction of a juvenile court. Typical background screening reports do not include juvenile proceedings because those proceedings are not typically available publicly and may not use sufficient levels of process and evidence for an employer to conclude that a juvenile committed a crime.
  • Health care facilities cannot inquire the applicant to disclose their juvenile offense history unless the information concerns an adjudication by a juvenile court in which the applicant was found to have committed a felony or a misdemeanor offense under Section 290 of the Penal Code or Section 11590 of the Health and Safety Code in the five years before the application for employment.
  • Health care facilities cannot inquire about an applicant’s juvenile offense history that was sealed by juvenile court.

Health care facilities who seek disclosure of permissible offense history from the applicant must provide the individual with a list describing the specific offenses under Section 11590 of the Health and Safety Code or Section 290 of the Penal Code for which disclosure is sought.

Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is Chief Marketing Technologist at EY-VODW.com and has over two decades of experience in digital consulting, online product management, and technology innovation. He is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments.

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