California Adopts Statewide Ban the Box Law

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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 218. Unfamiliar?

Introduced February, 2013 by Sacramento Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson. Bill 218, better known as Ban the Box, prohibits public employers from asking job applicants to disclose whether or not they have ever been convicted of a crime.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the new law effectively  removes “check-box questions common on many applications that ask, ‘Have you ever been convicted of a felony?’ Employers will have to wait until later in the hiring process before inquiring about a candidate’s criminal past, making it illegal to pre-screen applicants with criminal records.

The law, which goes into effect July 1, 2014, comes after 23 other states have already adopted similar measures. Earlier this year, Youth Radio’s Ashley Williams reported on the growing Ban the Box movement, including some legislation which even regulates how private employers make hires. Williams’ story gives an in-depth look into how Banning the Box, affects job seekers, employers, and in-particular, youth.

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