Job searches are a challenge for everyone. Between completing applications, submitting resumes, and having many interviews, the job hunt is not an easy task. Having a criminal history while searching for a job creates a unique set of barriers that can prevent people from gaining employment after re-entering society.
California has taken an active approach to the barrier in adopting the “Ban the Box” law. This law places limits on an employer’s inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.
If you are facing issues while searching for a job with a criminal history, we have gathered some information to help guide you on your journey.
Request a Copy of Your Own Record
Although access to criminal records are usually restricted to law enforcement and other authorized agencies, the State of California Department of Justice will allow you to request a copy of your own record for purposes of accuracy and completeness.
Take some time to review your own criminal record and become familiar with what it contains. You do not want surprises because of what may appear on your record during your job search.
Be Aware of Your Rights
The Fair Chance Act (AB 1008), also known as “Ban the Box”, went into effect on January 1, 2018 in California. The Act prohibits employers with five or more employees from asking about your conviction history. Under this law, an employer may not request or consider an applicant’s criminal history until after making a conditional offer of employment.
Because of the Fair Chance Act, employers are prohibited from asking about your conviction history when making an employment decision. Even if the job application itself asks whether you have been convicted of a crime, the potential employer is breaking the law.
This Act is important for you to know because it ensures that you are fairly considered for jobs. While California is providing strong protections for job seekers with a criminal history, some applicants are still facing problems because of their criminal records. According to a Mercury News article, some employers are not heeding the protections that are in place.
Clear Your Record
Imagine telling a potential employer that you do not have a conviction. With a record expungement, this is definitely a possibility. An expungement is a request from an individual, to the court, to destroy or seal a criminal conviction from state or federal data storages.
An expungement will allow you to leave your criminal history behind. It will also provide you with peace of mind and confidence during your job search. If you want to clear your record, a knowledgeable expungement attorney can assist you with the record expungement process. Continue reading