A new law that prohibits employers in the state of California from asking about a job applicant’s juvenile criminal records is set to take effect January 1of the new year. Assembly Bill (A.B.) No. 1843 amends Section 432.7 of the California Labor Code to prohibit employers from asking about or considering one’s juvenile records or involvement in the juvenile system if it did not result in a conviction. It also would bar employers from using the information as a condition of employment.
In other words, it will soon be illegal for an employer to ask a job applicant about or consider “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.”
Currently, the California Labor Code prohibits private and public sector employers from asking a job applicant to disclose information on an arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction or a pretrial diversion program, or an expunged record. AB. 1843 expanded these prohibitions.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1843 into law in September of 2016. Proponents of the bill have claimed that it would reduce the chances of a minor, especially minors from communities of color, from falling back into the justice system, since prior criminal history is a huge barrier to getting a job.
Sealing or Expunging Juvenile Records in California
Despite common misperception, juvenile records are not automatically sealed once you turn 18. While juvenile records are not public records unlike adult criminal records, they are still accessible until a formal order from a judge seals and destroys them.
In California, juvenile arrest records include every report and court record related to criminal activity you were involved in as a minor. This includes arrest reports, exhibits, and probation reports. Expungement (sealing) of juvenile records means that they will no longer be accessible to anyone and in alot of cases, destroyed. It has the effect of making it like the arrest or conviction never happened.
In order to qualify for expungement of juvenile records, you must be 18 years of age, and have not been convicted of a crime that involved moral turpitude as an adult. You must also not have pending civil litigation against you, and the court must be able to conclude that you have been rehabilitated. Continue reading