The Fair Chance Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, is a California law that generally prohibits employers of more than 5 employees from asking about your conviction history before making you a job offer. This type of law is also known as a “Ban the Box” law.
The law generally prohibits employers from:
- Including on a job application any questions about conviction history before a conditional job offer has been made;
- Asking about or considering your criminal history before a conditional job offer has been made;
- Considering information about arrests not followed by conviction, participation in pretrial or post-trial diversion programs, or convictions that have been sealed, dismissed, expunged, or statutorily eradicated.
After offering you a job, employers are allowed to conduct a criminal history check, but the law requires an individualized assessment about your conviction history. That means that an employer can't take back the job offer without considering the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job you are seeking. If the employer decides to take back the job offer based on your criminal history, they must tell you so in writing, provide a copy of any conviction history report they relied on, and give you at least five business days to respond.
Please note the part about "convictions that have been sealed, dismissed, expunged, or statutorily eradicated". A California expungement under 1203.4 of the Penal Code meets the test- the case Cannot be used against you if expunged. If NOT expunged, you can still be denied the job.
A very good reason to expunge even a minor criminal offense.