The following legislation was recently passed in the state of California. As an employer, the information included in this post may apply to your business. It is every employer’s responsibility to verify that they are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

California Government Code Section 12900-12951 & 12927-12928 & 12955-12956.1 & 12960-12976

Fair Employment and Housing Act

The Fair Employment and Housing Act provides protection from harassment or discrimination in employment because of age (40 and over), ancestry, color, creed, denial of family and medical care leave, disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS, marital status, medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics), national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also prohibits discrimination in all aspects of housing (rental, lease, terms and conditions, etc.) because of a person’s disability.

On July 24th, 2023, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved the California Civil Rights Council’s proposed modifications to the FEHA. These changes govern inquiries into and consideration of a job applicant’s criminal history in making hiring decisions.

The modifications take effect on October 1, 2023.

The following are a few of the modifications to the FEHA in regard to a job applicant’s criminal history:

  • A notice of a preliminary decision and granting the opportunity for an applicant’s response will be required.
  • Individualized assessments must be made per applicant.
  • Evidence of rehabilitation or mitigating circumstances is optional and may only be voluntarily provided by the applicant or by another party at the applicant’s request.
  • Reassessments are allowed based on specific circumstances.
  • Labor contractors, union halls, and client employers are now governed by these regulations.
  • Employers can now apply for an IRS Work Opportunity Tax Credit based on the hired applicant.

For the latest federal updates visit the Personnel Concepts Blog homepage.