Proposed CA Bill May Ban Criminal Background Checks

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On February 16, 2024, the California State Senate introduced Senate Bill 1345 (“SB 1345”), which would make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to take an adverse action against an applicant based on his or her criminal history.  SB 1345 is currently pending review by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Current Law

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits various forms of employment discrimination. The Fair Chance Act, enacted in 2018, specifically prohibits employers with five or more employees from asking about a job candidate’s conviction history until after extending a conditional job offer. The Fair Chance Act also requires employers to provide requisite notices to candidates and to evaluate several factors before withdrawing a job offer due to a candidate’s criminal history.

SB 1345: Proposed Changes

SB 1345 would make it unlawful for an employer to take an adverse action against an applicant based on the applicant’s criminal history, unless the employer can demonstrate that the applicant’s criminal history has a direct and adverse relationship with one or more specific duties of the job and the employer’s business necessity requires the adverse action. The proposed legislation would additionally make it unlawful for employers to demand, as a prerequisite for employment, that applicants forfeit their right to privacy regarding criminal history information or give consent for the employer to access such details under specific laws. This requirement would only be permissible if the employer can substantiate a genuine business necessity.

MNK Law will continue to monitor developments with respect to SB 1345. For more information on the use and consideration of criminal history in employment decisions, please contact us at

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.