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| Criminal Record Checks
November 14 2013

California is far from the only place where questions surrounding the criminal records of employees and|or job applicants are restricted.

In 2010, the California State Personnel Board mandated that the state’s civil-service job applications would no longer seek information pertaining to criminal backgrounds. However, the state may be wishing it had a do-over on that one. Perhaps asking Carey Renee Moore if she was ever convicted of a felony would have precluded her from getting another job with the state after a two-year stint in jail on felony grand theft charges. Moore’s decision to resign before being fired and the fact that no one asked criminal background-related questions enabled her to fly under the radar and land a job despite her past. California is far from the only place where questions surrounding the criminal records of employees and|or job applicants are restricted.

The New Jersey Senate, for example, recently introduced The Opportunity to Compete Act, which put the Garden State in the company of more than 40 cities and counties—including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, San Francisco and Seattle—seeking to “ban the box” that asks about criminal histories on job applications. So, it’s safe to say we’re almost certain to see more cities pursue similar initiatives. But it’s also a good bet there is at least one employer in California right now who, in light of the Moore debacle, wouldn’t mind bringing the box back.