Anywhere in the state of California, if you believe that you are a victim of hiring or employment discrimination, consult at once with an experienced Fresno employment attorney. Nationwide, over 100 cities and counties have adopted what is widely known as “Ban the Box” legislation so that employers will consider a job candidate’s qualifications without being prejudiced by non-job-related information. Ban the Box initiatives give job applicants a fair chance at becoming employed by removing the conviction history question on job applications and delaying the background check inquiry until later in the hiring process.

Currently, California employers may not ask applicants about a prior arrest that did not lead to a conviction, and employers may not ask about an applicant’s referral to or participation in a pretrial or post-trial diversion program. Employers may not seek or use records relating to these arrests. California also prohibits employers from asking about convictions that have been sealed or expunged. Employers may not ask about certain older marijuana offenses. However, the law does allows private employers to ask about arrests for which the applicant’s trial is pending, and a private California employer may also ask job-related questions about a conviction, except in the City of San Francisco.

In 2005, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to eliminate hiring discrimination against people with criminal records by removing the request for criminal history information on the initial job application for public employment. The resolution was implemented at the time as a municipal hiring policy. However, in 2014, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Fair Chance Ordinance, expanding the City’s policy to all private employers. Outside of San Francisco, however, private employers in California may still put “the box” on employment applications.

Illegal employment discrimination can never be tolerated, and many activists see “Ban the Box” legislation as the next step in eliminating employment discrimination. For now, if you are the victim of hiring or employment discrimination because of your race, gender, religion, ethnic background, pregnancy, or sexual orientation or identity, discuss your legal rights and options as quickly as possible with an experienced Fresno employment attorney.