Can Employers Ask For A Criminal Background Check?

Posted on Jun 22 2018 - 6:25am by Editorial Staff

Life can sometimes get you down, but no matter what, everyone deserves a second chance. If you’ve made a mistake when you were younger that you now regret, you absolutely deserve a second chance to get a job, pay your own bills and turn your life around.

But as anyone with a criminal background knows, there’s a little black box that can stain your otherwise flawless resume. Of course, we’re talking about the tick box on the resume asking you to mark if you have a criminal record. The box alone is a reason for many employers to discard your resume right away. Most of them won’t even give you a chance to explain.

Attorneys have been working tirelessly to expunge their client’s criminal records, but some of the less fortunate still had to mark that little box every time they applied for the job. But not anymore.

Ban-the-Box Legislation

A new legislation passed in October 2017 called “ban-the-box” bans employers from including a field in their job application asking whether jobseekers have been convinced of a crime before. This legislation is guaranteed to remove one of the biggest obstacles and positively affect the employment rates in California.

More importantly, it will give people with a criminal record a shot at a new life as a productive member of the society. This is nothing new, as California already had a bill that did the same for government job applications.

Can Employers Perform Background Checks

While this legislation will certainly help people with a criminal record cross one bridge, it does not ensure they’ll arrive at their destination safely. Employers are still allowed to ask whether potential employees have a criminal history.

Employers also can and will perform criminal background checks and if they find you have a criminal record, they reserve the right to turn you down.

The Future of People with a Criminal Record in California

Essentially, the government hopes that people convicted of a crime unrelated to the job they are applying for can still get a fair chance of employment. This also goes for people who served time for their crimes. Even if the criminal charges are related to the said job, people still deserve a fair shot based on their qualifications.

The “ban-the-box” legislation should help people who otherwise might have been reluctant to apply for a job. This is a chance many did not have before the bill was passed when the box immediately prompted employers to turn down otherwise qualified applicants.

Naturally, if you feel you’ve been discriminated against based on your past convictions, you can still seek an experienced legal defense attorney to discuss your options for a fair shot at employment such as expungement, certificate of rehabilitation and others.

About the Author

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.