BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”






                                                                    AB 1843


                                                                     Page A


          Date of Hearing:  April 6, 2016


                     ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT


                               Roger HernŠndez, Chair


          AB 1843  
          (Mark Stone) - As Introduced February 9, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Applicants for employment:  criminal history


          SUMMARY:  Prohibits an employer, whether a public agency or  
          private individual or corporation, from asking an applicant for  
          employment to disclose, through any written form or verbally, or  
          from utilizing as a factor in determining any condition of  
          employment, information concerning an arrest or detention that  
          did not result in specific juvenile court actions or that has  
          been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed pursuant to law.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Prohibits an employer, whether a public agency or private  
            individual or corporation, from asking an applicant for  
            employment to disclose, or from utilizing as a factor in  
            determining any condition of employment, information  
            concerning an arrest or detention that did not result in a  
            conviction, or information concerning a referral or  
            participation in, any pretrial or post trial diversion  
            program, except as specified.


          2)Prohibits an employer, as specified, from asking an applicant  











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            to disclose, or from utilizing as a factor in determining any  
            condition of employment, information concerning a conviction  
            that has been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed, except  
            in specified circumstances. Existing law also makes it a crime  
            to intentionally violate these provisions.


          3)Provides that no employer, whether a public agency or private  
            individual or corporation, shall ask an applicant for  
            employment to disclose, through any written form or verbally,  
            information concerning an arrest or detention that did not  
            result in conviction, or information concerning a referral to,  
            and participation in, any pretrial or post trial diversion  
            program, nor shall any employer seek from any source  
            whatsoever, or utilize, as a factor in determining any  
            condition of employment including, hiring, promotion,  
            termination, record of arrest or detention that did not result  
            in conviction.

          4)Provides for a process for a court to allow a defendant to  
            withdraw his or her plea or set aside verdict of guilty and  
            dismiss the accusation or information if the defendant has  
            fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of  
            probation, or who has been discharged prior to the termination  
            for the period of probation, or in any other case in which the  
            interests of justice, determines that a defendant should be  
            granted relief available.
          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown 


          COMMENTS:  The author argues that, current law protects the  
          records of adults who have had arrests that did not lead to  
          conviction and adults who have had their records ordered or  
          automatically sealed from disclosure by potential employers  
          during the hiring process.  The legal effect of sealing and  
          dismissal is that the offense is deemed not to have occurred and  
          can be handled as such by job and college applicants in the  
          future.  This bill ensures that juveniles are guaranteed the  
          same protections against employer inquiries into criminal  











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          histories as adults. 


          Considering the negative effect that criminal records may have  
          on job seekers' employment prospects, this bill provides much  
          needed relief to youth and adults who have paid their debts to  
          society and are seeking to improve their lives, the lives of  
          their families, and their communities. 


          An Urban Institute Justice Policy Center Study on Employment  
          after Prison states that, "Employment is an important component  
          of the reentry process.  Even more than a steady source of  
          income, jobs can provide a sense of structure and responsibility  
          to former prisoners as they struggle to reintegrate after  
          release.  Unfortunately, many will face a difficult path toward  
          finding and keeping employment? While {this} is only one among a  
          number of challenges for returning prisoners, it can have an  
          enormous impact on the success of releases in avoiding  
          recidivism and in improving their quality of life after release.  
           Addressing the employment status of releases is thus key to  
          increasing the chances for positive outcomes for this  
          population." <1>


          Arrest records and probation records can be damaging on an  
          individual's ability to pursue higher education or find a job.   
          This bill will further the dual purposes of the juvenile justice  
          system: rehabilitation and reintegration, by better ensuring  
          that juveniles and juvenile offenders have a clear pathway to  
          rehabilitation, when in compliance with existing statutory and  
          probationary requirements.  The bill recognizes the established  
          role of California's Juvenile Courts as institutions of reform,  
          not punishment, and will help individuals with juvenile records  
          ---------------------------


          <1> Urban Institute Study, Employment after Prison: A  
          Longitudinal Study of Releases in Three States. October 20,  
          2008.  
           http://www.urban.org/research/publication/employment-after-prison 
          -longitudinal-study-releasees-three-states  








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          to find and hold jobs, and become fully functioning members of  
          society.


          Background on Sealing and Destruction of Records


          Existing law provides for an expungement process. A person can  
          seek to have records dismissed after she or he has fulfilled her  
          or his probation or parole period.  While granting of the  
          expungement releases a person from all penalties and  
          disabilities resulting from the offense, the release is not  
          absolute.  The expunged offense can still be used as a prior  
          conviction for the purposes of a subsequent conviction and for  
          other specified purposes - for example, owning a firearm or  
          holding public office. 


          Minor's adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court proceedings may  
          petition the court to have their records sealed unless they were  
          found to have committed certain serious offenses, under Welfare  
          and Institutions Code section 781.  A person may have his or her  
          juvenile court records sealed by petitioning the court, five  
          years or more after the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has  
          terminated over the person adjudged a ward of the court or after  
          the minor appeared before a probation officer, or, in any case,  
          at any time after the person has reached the age of 18.  Once  
          the court has ordered the records sealed, the proceedings in the  
          case shall be deemed never to have occurred, and the person may  
          properly reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events.  The  
          relief consists of sealing all of the records related to the  
          case, including the arrest record, court records, entries on  
          dockets, and any other papers and exhibits.  The court must send  
          a copy of the order to each agency and official named in the  
          petition for sealing records, directing the agency to seal its  
          records and stating the date thereafter to destroy the sealed  
          records. 

          The court may also order the dismissal of a minor's juvenile  











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                                                                     Page E


          court case and have the court records sealed without a petition  
          from the minor if the minor has been found to have  
          satisfactorily completed an informal program of supervision or  
          probation, except in specified 


          cases.  Upon sealing of the record, the arrest upon which the  
          judgment was deferred shall be deemed to have never occurred.   
          The court shall order sealed all records in its custody  
          pertaining to a petition dismissed. 


          Arguments in Support


          This bill is sponsored by the Juvenile Court Judges of  
          California; they state that, "It has been a surprise for many to  
          realize that under current law, people with sealed juvenile  
          records do not have the same rights as those with sealed  
          criminal records? Not only is this treatment unequal and unfair,  
          but California law attempts to give juveniles an opportunity to  
          demonstrate they can be rehabilitated.  Regrettably, existing  
          law does not reflect state policy regarding rehabilitation.  
          Juvenile records should be treated in the same way that adult  
          criminal records are treated when an employer is questioning a  
          job applicant.  Employer questioning about sealed juvenile  
          records should be prohibited." 


          There is no known opposition is on file.


          Prior Related Legislation


          AB 666 (Mark Stone) Chapter 368, Statutes of 2015 requires  
          records in the custody of law enforcement agencies, the  
          probation department, or any other public agency having records  
          pertaining to the case, to also be sealed, in a case where a  











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          court has ordered a juvenile's records to be sealed, as  
          specified.


          SB 1038 (Leno) Chapter 249, Statutes of 2014 provides for the  
          automatic dismissal of juvenile petitions and sealing of records  
          when a juvenile offender successfully completes probation.

          AB 1756 (Skinner) from 2013 would have provided that only a  
          person 26 years of age or older may be charged the existing fee  
          of up to $150 for petitioning the court for an order sealing his  
          or her criminal record.  AB 1756 was held on the Senate  
          Appropriation Committee Suspense File.

          SB 530 (Wright) Chapter 721, Statutes of 2013 excludes prior  
          criminal convictions from consideration in employment decisions  
          when the conviction has been judicially dismissed or the record  
          has been expunged or sealed.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California Catholic Conference


          California Judges Association 


          Juvenile Court Judges of California 


          LIUNA Local 777












                                                                    AB 1843


                                                                     Page G



          LIUNA Local 792


          National Association of Social Workers - California Chapter




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Taylor Jackson / L. & E. / (916) 319-2091