I have often been asked if an employer can still learn about a criminal conviction after a defendant has obtained a record clearance. Since the file still remains in the courthouse, I have always said the conviction is still visible if the employer wants to look.

GOOD NEWS FOR 2014—California Labor Code section 432.7 now prohibits both public and private employers from asking or seeking information about cases where a conviction no longer exists after a record clearance, a drug diversion, or a Prop 36 dismissal. This means that the prospective employers cannot use the conviction that has been dismissed pursuant to a record clearance during the hiring process any longer. From the language of the statute, it appears the employers are not allowed to inquire about these dismissals from databases or records-checkers anymore.

Time will tell how this plays out with the databases and HR departments, but the legislature has sent a clear message that it does not want the creation of a class of unemployable people who have slipped up in the past but are now leading good lives!