Summary of Amendment to California’s Employment Regulations Relating to Criminal History


  • The term “employer” was expanded to include “any entity that evaluates the application’s conviction history on behalf of an employer, or acts as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly.” This could include a background screening provider, a staffing agency, or any entity that selects or provides workers from an availability list or pool.
  • The term “applicant” was also expanded to include employees who have applied for a different position within the company. An existing employee who is subjected to review and consideration of criminal history was added to this definition as well.

Individualized Assessment Process

  • The amendment expands the individualized assessment process by outlining several distinct factors you should be looking at as an employer before considering taking adverse action based on conviction history.
  • Additionally, the evidence of rehabilitation that an applicant can provide to the employer was expanded. Employers cannot require this information, but they must provide an avenue to do so if the applicant chooses.

Adverse Action Time Period

  • The amendment changes the deadline/time period for the applicant to respond following a preliminary adverse notification.
  • Employers must wait 5 business days from the date of the receipt of the notice.
    • If the employer sends pre-adverse electronically, they must wait 2 business days before beginning to count the 5 business days.
    • If the employer sends the pre-adverse notice via postal mail and does not use any tracking services, they must wait 5 calendar days to then begin counting the 5 business days. This only applies if the address of the applicant is in CA.
      • If the address is outside of CA but within the U.S., the employer must wait 10 calendar days before counting the 5 business days.
      • If the address is outside of the U.S., they must wait 20 calendar days before counting the 5 business days.